Careers at new-car dealerships abound in California as segment surges

New-car dealerships account for nearly 242,000 state jobs.

Sacramento, Calif.—New-car dealers in California and across the country are hiring to fill a variety of jobs thanks to a resurgence in auto sales and a strengthening economy.

New-car dealerships in the state of California directly employed 113,596 people and supported another 43,347 indirect and expenditure-induced jobs in 2014, according to a recent study by the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Center for Automotive Research (CAR).

The CAR study, “Contribution of New-Car Dealerships to the Economies of All 50 States and the United States,” highlights the economic impact of new-car dealerships-from employment data, taxes collected or generated by dealerships to taxes paid by employees-at the state and national level.

For California, statewide employment estimates for 2014 included:

• Direct employment: 113,596 people were employed directly at new-car dealerships, which includes sales, finance, management, service and repair jobs, etc.

• Indirect employment: 43,347 people were employed by companies that provide goods and services to dealerships.

• Expenditure-induced employment: 85,029 people were employed at jobs where direct and indirect employees spend their money.

• Total employment: 241,972


“California’s franchised new car dealers will likely see sales exceed two million units this year,” said California New Car Dealers Association President Brian Maas. “And the momentum is expected to continue into 2016.  We would expect those with career aspirations at dealerships, or with companies that provide goods and services to dealerships, to reap the benefits.”

In 2014, California’s 1,296 new-car dealerships employed an average of 88 people per dealership with a total payroll of more than $6.76 billion. The average annual salary of an employee working at a new-car dealership in California was $51,881, according to an analysis from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and NADA.


Employee wages increase

Nationwide, employee compensation and productivity at new-car dealerships increased across all job positions in 2014, according to NADA’s “2015 Dealership Workforce Study, Automotive Retail: National & Regional Trends in Compensation, Benefits & Retention.”

In 2014, the median weekly income for all employees at U.S. new-car dealerships increased 5.1 percent to $1,026. On average, dealership employees earned nearly 29 percent more than employees in the private-sector workforce, according to a comparison of dealership salaries and 2014 fourth-quarter median weekly earnings of all U.S. employees, as compiled by the BLS.

“The bottom line is that new-car dealerships offer well-paying jobs with benefits,” said NADA Chief Economist Steven Szakaly. “Jobs at new-car dealerships have continued to outpace average U.S. wages, and are some of the best-paying jobs available.”


Tax revenue

Taxes paid by new-car dealership employees support local, state and federal budgets. The estimated amount of federal ($2.465 billion) and state ($212 million) income taxes paid by direct, indirect and expenditure-inducted employees in California in 2014 totaled nearly $2.7 billion, according to the CAR study.

New-car dealerships in California paid nearly $170 million in corporate income taxes and license fees in 2013, according to the CAR study.

Parts & People

Parts & People is published monthly by Automotive Counseling and Publishing Company, Inc., a Colorado corporation, P.O. Box 18731 Denver, CO 80203, 303-765-4664. President-Lance Buchner. Founded by Lance Buchner and Dave Lucia.