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U.S. Dealership Network Size Virtually Unchanged

Urban Science’s 2013 Automotive Franchise Activity Report shows a slight decrease in the number of U.S. dealerships and expects that the network will remain stable for a fourth straight year. As of Jan. 1, 2014, there were 17,838 dealerships (rooftops) — a 0.1 percent decrease from a year ago.

The data shows that more than 96 percent of local markets had virtually no net change over 2013. However, the most significant dealership increases occurred in California, with 34 new dealerships, and Texas, with 15 new dealerships. These two states also had the greatest increases in 2012.

As of Jan. 1, 2014, there was a total of 31,440 franchises (brands a dealership sells) — a 0.5 percent decrease from a year ago. This slight decrease can be attributed largely to the closure of 220 Suzuki franchises.

“When it comes to the number of dealerships and franchises, there’s no question we’re in the midst of a very comfortable balance with sales,” said John Frith, vice president of Urban Science. “We see no indication that any dramatic changes are to be expected in the near future.”

Urban Science is a global retail consulting firm.

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