New-car dealers are adding workers, opening more stores and expressing general optimism about their business, according to an annual report released this week by the National Automobile Dealers Assn.
There were 933,500 workers employed at U.S. new-car and -truck dealerships in 2011, a 4.6% increase from the previous year, said Paul Taylor, chief economist of the trade group.
The number of dealerships, which has declined dramatically in recent years, has started to climb, growing by about 66 on a net basis to about 17,600.
Still that’s down from more than 21,000 prior to the recession and the recent U.S. auto industry restructuring. California has 1,307 new-car dealerships, more than any other state. Texas is second with 1,178.