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NADA University Unveils All-New Industry Report on Dealership Workforce

Comprehensive report, produced in partnership with Northwood University, analyzes vastly expanded, more timely data on dealer trends

McLEAN, Va. (Dec. 17, 2012) – NADA University, the education and training arm of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), has unveiled an all-new industry report covering car and truck dealership employee compensation, benefits, retention and turnover, and hours of operation and work schedules.

The 2012 Dealership Workforce Study Industry Report was prepared by Northwood University, which celebrates a 50-year partnership with NADA in providing automotive marketing and management education. 

The new report presents an overall analysis of 2012 Dealership Workforce Study results with data for all regions of the U.S. The study, based on 350,000 payroll records submitted by nearly 2,500 dealerships, vastly improves and expands the former NADA biennial Compensation Study in a variety of ways, including: 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; and 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.

"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.

Among the key findings in the Industry Report, based on 2011 data:

  • Most key dealership positions emphasized in the report had higher individual average salaries than the median household income in their regions, and all exceeded the national average individual wage index.
  • Job retention, turnover, and tenure were more favorable than the national norms in most key job categories analyzed.
  • Turnover rates for sales consultants in a number of regions were close to, or exceeded, the average of 39.9 percent for all industries.
  • Tenure for sales consultants is below the national job average of 5.1 years in all regions.
  • Tenure for F&I directors/managers, sales managers, and service advisors is below national levels in some regions.
  • There is a positive connection between years of tenure and increased new- and used-vehicle sales.
  • There appears to be a strong correlation between dealership sales hours and new-unit sales.
  • Increasing dealership used-vehicle sales has a smaller impact on compensation than increasing new-vehicle sales.

The breakouts of nine U.S. regions also include a “happiness” index, produced by the Gallup organization, to help develop connections and draw conclusions relative to productivity and economic growth based on a variety of “well-being” factors in each region. 

“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,” said Ted Kraybill, president and founder of DeltaTrends, which designed the Dealership Workforce Study, completed the data collection, and produced the customized Basic and Enhanced Reports for participating dealerships.

A Northwood University team, led by Dr. Tim Nash, Northwood vice president and professor of economics, analyzed national and regional data for the Industry Report. The project marks the 50th anniversary of NADA’s partnership with Northwood, which started in 1963 when the association selected Northwood to develop the only collegiate degree program in Automotive Marketing & Management. Today, the university remains the sole institution offering such a degree program focused on developing automotive professionals.

“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,” noted Dr. Keith A. Pretty, president and CEO, Northwood University.

The workforce study industry and individualized comparative reports are provided free of charge to dealerships participating in the data collection. 

Those interested in purchasing the 2012 Dealership Workforce Study Industry Report should contact NADA University Customer Service at (800) 557-6232, or complete the form at for more information.

The opportunity to participate in the 2013 study will open up to NADA and American Truck Dealer (ATD) member dealers in February, with a launch at the NADA Convention, in Orlando, Fla., Feb. 8-11, 2013. (Details to follow in January.)  

Note to Media: To request any specific national or regional data from the report, please email or call the media contact below.

About NADA University: 

NADA University equips dealers and their teams to get results – with the right knowledge, information, coaching, and resources to develop both skills and confidence. Visit for more details on these NADA University centers:
ACADEMY – Leadership development programs for current and future dealership operators and automotive entrepreneurs.

LEARNING HUB – Employee and manager training solutions – courses, classes, workshops and webinars – by leading automotive experts, with an all-new online platform enabling your staff to train at their convenience and pace.

20 GROUP – Consultant-led performance improvement fueled by a group of non-competing peers eager to share their experience and learn from yours.
RESOURCE TOOLBOX – Valuable member benefits, including Driven management guide publications, MarketINSIGHT mini-webinars, NADAPerks monthly tips and tools, and key market data – all complimentary resources you’ll find only in NADA U’s online library.

For more information on all of NADA University’s training and educational programs, visit or call (800) 557-6232.