McLEAN, Va. — The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) has unveiled its second annual industry report on dealership employee compensation, benefits, retention and turnover. The study also looked at hours of operation and work schedules.

The 2013 Dealership Workforce Study Industry Report was produced in partnership with DeltaTrends, and was designed to help dealers meet their No. 1 challenge: recruiting, hiring and retaining top talent. Data was culled from 290,000 car and truck payroll records, and cogent analysis by DeltaTrends, a provider of workforce metrics, guides and trends, and HR best practices.

This year’s report again includes both national and regional data. It also provides comparisons by luxury and nonluxury franchises, and addresses compensation by size of dealer group. Demographic issues such as the “gender gap” and generational differences among employees are also discussed, as is the impact of longer working hours on retention and turnover. More than 2,240 dealerships enrolled in this year’s study.

“This is by far the most comprehensive and timely study on the dealership workforce ever produced, and serves as a tremendous resource to help dealers ‘step up their game’ to gain an edge on the competition,” said NADA Chairman David Westcott.

Based on 2012 data, the study found that dealership employees earn 27 percent more than the average weekly earnings of all U.S. private sector employees. F&I managers had the highest income growth (8.4 percent), followed by service managers (8.0 percent) and sales consultants (7.8 percent).

The median income of individual dealership employees is nearly equal to the 2012 U.S. median household income ($51,017).

Total dealership employee turnover in 2012 dropped one point (to 35 percent) from the previous year, lower than the estimate of employee turnover in the private sector (41 percent, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Among the highest turnover positions was the sales consultant at 62 percent.

The percentage of females hired by dealerships increased two points (to 19 percent) vs. the previous year, while the percentage of Generation Y employees now in the dealership workforce (23 percent) is equivalent to the estimated ratio of employed Gen Y workers in the total U.S. workforce.  

The study also noted specific challenges for dealerships on the recruiting front. Among them is creating staffing models that reduce the total hours that dealership employees are required to work. Another is shifting the focus from individual-based sales incentives to team-based awards. The study also detailed steps dealers can take to draw in more females into dealership employees.

“Finding and retaining talent is one of the greatest business challenges that dealers and OEMs face in today’s retail market,” said Ted Kraybill, president and founder of DeltaTrends. “The NADA, with the support of its members, is taking a strong leadership position in tackling the problem. DeltaTrends is proud to team up with NADA to make dealerships a greater place to work.”

The Foreword to this year’s Industry Report was contributed by Dr. Keith A. Pretty, Northwood University president and CEO, and Dr. Timothy G. Nash, Northwood vice president for Strategic and Corporate Alliances and the Fry Endowed professor of Free Market Economics.

To learn more about the study, visit