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How is the dealer workforce faring? Pretty well

December 21, 2012
If findings announced by NADA University on Dec. 18 are any indication, the outlook on workforce stability at the nation’s dealerships is a relatively solid one.
The findings are in the 2012 Dealership Workforce Study Industry Report, released by the education and training arm of the National Automobile Dealer Association. The study was put together in partnership with Northwood University and examines employee compensation, benefits, retention/turnover and hours of operation/work schedules at car and truck dealerships.
The report offers an overall analysis of the 2012 Dealership Workforce Study results, including data for each region of the country.
Nearly 2,500 dealerships combined to submit a total of 350,000 payroll records for the workforce study. The DeltaTrends firm designed the Dealership Workforce Study, conducted data collection and built the customized Basic and Enhanced Reports for participating dealers.
The statement from NADA University listed how this study augments the former NADA biennial Compensation Study. This new study:
• Capturing enhanced and more timely data and trends on an annual basis compiling data nationally, regionally and statewide
• Simplifying participation through a web-based portal
• Offering separate individualized  reports to participating dealerships so they can compare their numbers against data aggregated on a regional and national basis, as well as by state/metro area and franchise.
So what did the results reveal?
Among other discoveries, the report, based on 2011 data, found that dealerships had “more favorable” conditions surrounding job retention, turnover and tenure when compared to national norms in the bulk of key job categories the study examined.
The report also found that the average individual salary for most dealership positions in the report was stronger than the respective region’s median household income. What’s more, the report found that all dealership positions were stronger than the national average individual wage index.
There were also nine regional breakouts. Each of these had a “happiness” index via Gallup that were determined from “well-being” factors.
NADA University shared a few sales-related observations, pointing out a “positive connection between years of tenure and increased new- and used-vehicle sales.”
Additionally, dealership sales hours seem to have a “strong correlation” with new-vehicle sales. It also was found that increasing new-vehicle sales had more of an impact on compensation than increasing used-vehicle sales had.
“This is the most comprehensive dealership workforce report ever produced in our industry,” said NADA Chairman Bill Underriner. “We appreciate the dealerships that participated and the invaluable support we received from the state and metro ATAEs (Automotive Trade Association Executives).
“The level of detail and planned annual updates will prove to be an indispensable resource to help dealers manage their workforce more effectively in a competitive marketplace,” Underriner added.
DeltaTrends president and founder Ted Kraybill added: “This is a groundbreaking report packed with data and trends information that will give dealers a much clearer picture of how they stack up against their competition and the entire industry in terms of attracting and retaining top talent.”
Northwood president and chief executive officer Keith Pretty said, “We are proud to have partnered with NADA University on this vital project, which is so pivotal to the American economy and the thousands of entrepreneurs that lead the American retail automotive industry.”
The complete report can be purchased from NADA University Customer Service by calling (800) 557-6232.