Annual ATD data report shows employment, sales up across dealer market

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Updated Apr 19, 2018
For more information from ATD Data 2017, please click the infographic above.For more information from ATD Data 2017, please click the infographic above.

Total new truck dealer sales topped $97 billion last year, a 13.9 percent increase over 2017, the American Truck Dealers (ATD) reported Wednesday in releasing its annual ATD Data 2017, the organization’s annual financial profile of America’s franchised new-truck dealerships.

In addition to the total sales boom, ATD Data 2017 also reports franchised dealer unit sales were up 3.7 percent last year, while industry employment exploded, growing 12.3 percent year-over-year to 145,313 people in 2017.

Regarding sales, ATD Data 2017 says America’s 2,265 franchised truck dealerships sold a total of 415,042 medium- and heavy-duty new trucks in 2017. For Class 8 tractors, that total averaged 164 units per rooftop for the year, with an average price of $118,287.

In the maintenance sector, ATD reports new truck dealerships earned $4.80 billion selling services and $4.26 billion selling parts. Those same dealers also totaled a combined $3.24 billion in warranty sales for those same categories ($1.42 billion service, $1.82 billion parts). ATD Data 2017 adds truck dealers wrote 11.6 million repair orders last year.

The service sector also was the most profitable area of dealer businesses from a gross profit standpoint. ATD Data 2017 reports gross profit averages for truck dealers at $1,244,061 for new truck departments, $263,020 for used truck departments and $5,265,036 percent for parts and service departments. The latter department, combined with body shop sales, accounted for 79.8 percent of dealer gross profits.

More sales data can be found in the report, as well as more information regarding dealer employment, which ATD Senior Economist Patrick Manzi says is at its highest level in the U.S. “in the last five years.”

He adds, “Truck dealers continue to contribute to their communities with jobs that pay well and offer the ability for advancement. Last year, the majority of truck dealership employees saw their incomes rise.”

Industry employment at truck dealerships in 2016 totaled 129,392 people, ATD reported in its ATD Data 2016 report last year. The year-over-year increase for 2017 brings the average number of employees per dealership to 64 people, an increase from 57 in 2016 and 55 in 2015.

Finally, ATD Data 2017 reports the total number of new truck dealerships in the U.S. rose by four storefronts last year, from 2,261 to 2,265.

Looking to the future, Manzi adds that real-time communication between the dealer service centers and drivers will continue to reduce downtime and support parts and service business at the dealer level.

“With new and advanced communication technologies, commercial vehicle drivers can receive up-to-date information about which dealerships in the area have the parts and availability to service their vehicles the fastest,” he says. “Truck drivers will no longer have to stop and wait while they find out if a dealer has a part they need.”

To download a copy of ATD Data 2017, please CLICK HERE.

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