Are you shopping for a new vehicle or looking for service at local dealerships this summer? There may be more employees there ready to help you, according to the organization representing more than 32,500 auto franchises nationwide.

The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA)  recently  reported a surge of employees in 2013 that topped 1 million for the first time since the start of the Great Recession in 2008. The average dealership had 57 employees in 2013, up from 55 in 2012, and had an annual $3 million payroll, reflecting a 3 percent spike. Total payroll for all dealerships approached $54 billion for the year.

As one would expect, the increase in employees is correlated to revenue, according to the organization’s annual financial profile dubbed NADA Data 2014.

The average U.S. dealership made more than $923,000 in net pretax profits in 2013, a ten percent increase from 2012. Dealers are banking on that trend continuing as NADA Chief Economist Steven Szakaly projects a sales increase of 800,000 in total light vehicles this year, the report states.

The surge in employees is not just for showrooms, either. Maintenance services and parts demonstrated a five percent increase in sales, and total service and parts profits rose by seven percent last year, according to the report.  Specific employee data for Michigan dealerships was not available in the report, but NADA estimated that Michigan’s 33,135 new-car dealerships employed 52 people, on average. Other notable data about Michigan in the report:

  • More than $15.1 million in total auto sales were reported statewide, which ranked 15th in the nation.
  • NADA found that 637 new-vehicle dealerships opened in Michigan during 2013, the seventh-highest amount nationwide.
  • The average annual payroll for Michigan dealerships in 2013 was $2.84 million.
  • The average weekly earnings of new-car dealership employees in Michigan were $1,064. That ranked 11th nationwide, and was higher than Illinois ($1,017), Ohio ($929) and Indiana ($906).
  • There are more than 8.1 million vehicles in operation in Michigan (3,783,589 passenger cars; 4,339,618 light trucks).