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More Sold on Idea of Selling Cars; New Talent Has Increased Competition

December 29, 2003

High unemployment in other industries from the recession and ripple effects of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States have sent a tide of people to new-car dealerships looking for work, according to the Seattle Times.

Although most job ads for car salespeople either demand auto-selling experience or term it

"desirable," many dealers are finding that the newcomers are some of their best performers, according to the Times.

The need for skilled sales professionals has

never been higher, the Times said. As the design, performance and the reliability of cars have improved, experts say, consumers' choices increasingly hinge on how they perceive their treatment at the dealerships, during the sales process and after the sale in the service department.

Growth in vehicle sales has created opportunities for sales staffs. Record annual sales of new cars and trucks that topped 17 million for the first time in 2000 and 2001 increased the need for sales professionals, although the industry stumbled during the recent recession, the Times said.

Nationally, the number of auto-sales professionals has increased by almost 12 percent

since 1996, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA). Much of the growth has been at stores handling emerging nameplates such as Hyundai, Kia and Mitsubishi, said Paul Taylor, NADA's chief economist.

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