881 Dealerships Across the US Closed in 2008
"There has been a loss of franchises across all the manufacturers, but the Detroit Three have been hit the hardest, accounting for 80 percent of the loss," John Frith, vice president at Urban Science, said. "We'll see even more contraction in the next several years as the Detroit Three strategically rethink their retail counts and locations."
Colorado, Alaska, Hawaii, North Dakota and Montana represented the only states across the US that did not reduce overall number of dealerships while Rhode Island, California and Massachusetts unveiled the largest decline in dealership count. And more importantly, Denver, Colorado Springs, Colo., Raleigh, N.C. and Greensboro, N.C maintained the initial number of dealerships or even opened new ones, the report states.
Unfortunately, the 2009 dealership evolution is far from being brighter than 2008's, as Urban Science expects to see even more closed dealerships this year.
"We will continue to see proactive dealer closures in metro markets," said Randy Berlin, global practice director for Urban Science. "Rural markets, however, will likely withstand consolidation efforts. When people talk about the number of Detroit Three dealerships versus import brands, the Detroit Three do have more. Actually, more than 90 percent of brands in non-metro areas are from the Detroit Three. Ford, Chrysler and GM serve the rural areas well, and don't have much competition from foreign automakers."