First Research US Industry Profile

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Automobile Dealers
SIC Codes: 5511, 5521
NAICS Codes: 4411
Last Quarterly Update: 6/13/2022
Companies in this industry engage in retail sales of new and used passenger cars, light trucks, SUVs, and passenger and cargo vans. Major companies include AutoNation, CarMax, Group 1 Automotive, Penske Automotive Group, and Sonic Automotive (all based in the US), as well as Inchcape plc (UK), Jardine Cycle & Carriage (Singapore), Porsche Holding Salzburg (Austria), and Power Diversity Automobile Trade Group (China).
Worldwide automobile sales fell just under 70 million units in 2021, according to Statista. While revenue for automobile dealers is estimated to reach a little over $1 trillion by 2024. China is the largest car manufacturer and one of the largest automobile markets worldwide, however car sales in 2020 fell for the first time since 2018. The country also produced more than 21 million cars that year, accounting for more than 30% of the world's passenger vehicle production.
The US automobile dealer industry includes about 50,000 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $1 trillion.
Competitive Landscape
Consumer spending and interest rates drive demand for cars. The profitability of individual companies depends on the volume and mix of cars and services sold. Large companies can offer a wider selection of cars and have advantages in marketing, purchasing, and finance. Small companies can compete effectively by offering superior customer service or serving a local market. The US industry is highly fragmented: the 50 largest firms generate about 20% of revenue. About 45% of dealerships have fewer than five employees.
For vehicle sales, auto dealers compete with private market sellers, who are increasingly using the internet to bypass traditional retail channels. Companies compete with various retail outlets, such as oil change centers, tire stores, and independent service shops and chains, for service revenue.
Motor vehicle imports to the US dropped from nearly 8 million units in 2019 to about 6.5 million units in 2020, according to Statista. Data from World's Top Exports places Germany, Japan, the US, Mexico, and South Korea as top car exporters in 2020.
Products, Operations & Technology
Sales of new and used cars and related products and services by new car dealerships make up 90% of industry revenue; used car dealerships account for the ... plus:
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Historical Profiles (PDF format)

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