“That really has, I think, just forced more innovation, more calling around or scouring Facebook Marketplace,” Manzi said. “Dealers are really having to get creative with how they’re sourcing right now.”
Dealerships also are selling more efficiently with fewer employees, Manzi said. Dealership head count dipped slightly in 2021 after tumbling more steeply in 2020 when the pandemic started. Total dealership employment slid 2.1 percent to an estimated 1,055,400 people last year, down from 1,078,000 for 2020 and 1,134,400 for 2019, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data cited by NADA.
The average dealership had 63 employees in 2021, generally flat from 64 in 2020 but down more significantly from 68 in 2019. The average number of new vehicles sold per salesperson last year rose to 113 from 104 in both 2019 and 2020, Manzi said.
“We still haven’t seen nationwide dealership employment recover completely,” he said. “A lot of