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NADA Says Dealers Add 15,600 Employees In 2001

May 9, 2002

New car and light truck dealers endured a struggling economy and September's terrorist attacks to sell a near-record 17.12 million new vehicles in 2001, worth $690 billion, according to data compiled by National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA).

The data claims major incentive programs introduced after the September 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington paved the way for an unexpectedly strong fourth-quarter performance and a record level of October sales. The year's strong finish propelled sales to the second highest total in history and an unparalleled run of six straight years with annual sales of over 15 million vehicles.

"Considering the extraordinary challenges dealers faced in 2001, it was truly a remarkable year for our industry," said NADA chief economist Paul Taylor. "The momentum is carrying over to this year, which will likely see sales topping 16 million."

NADA data shows that, for the first time, light trucks outsold cars, rising to 50.8 percent (8.7 million units) of light vehicle sales. The average selling price of a new vehicle increased 3.6 percent in 2001 to $25,800.

The data also shows that dealers added 15,600 employees to their payrolls, bringing total dealership employment to approximately 1.13 million and the total payroll to $48 billion.

The consolidation trend for franchised dealerships picked up pace in 2001, with the net dealership count dropping by 350 – the largest decline since 1993, according to the data. Franchised new car dealers sold 13.3 million used vehicles at an average price of $13,900. Auctions were the source for 35 percent of used vehicle inventory for dealers.

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