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NADA dissects area employee compensation

November 16, 2010

The area’s average dealership general manager earned $200,751 in 2008, according to data from the latest biannual compensation survey administered by the National Automobile Dealers Association.

Employee compensation generally lagged the 6.8 percent cost-of-living increase since the survey was administered two years ago. Indeed, the average GM earned $210,000 in the 2004 study of CATA dealers.

The NADA study, conducted this spring, tracked manager pay based on 2008 W-2 earnings, and other forms of compensation like health and dental plans and vacation allowances.

Responding dealers were categorized as selling more or less than 400 new vehicles last year. Within those categories, the average GM pay at a smaller store was $98,280, while GMs at larger stores averaged $222,099.

Sixty-one area dealers completed the survey, and most of their sales exceeded the NADA’s 400-unit class. In fact, the average among all responding dealers showed 888 new-vehicle sales in 2008, generating $52.6 million. The average area dealer employed 66 workers last year.

All participating dealers reported offering health insurance to their employees, and 82 percent also extended coverage to employee dependents. Thirteen percent of the dealers paid the entire cost of health coverage; overall, dealers paid for 42 percent of that benefit.

Although most dealers also offered a dental plan, a slight majority in the study, 51 percent, said they paid for no portion of the plans.

Other pay averages last year: general sales manager, $146,893; new-vehicle sales manager, $103,625; used-vehicle sales manager, $112,931; service manager, $98,347; finance and insurance manager, $111,250.

Dealers may request a copy of the full report by writing to the CATA’s Erik Higgins at 18W200 Butterfield Rd., Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181.