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The recession that kicked off in late 2008 and had the world fully in its grasp by 2009 took its toll on businesses across the economic spectrum. From airlines to restaurants, there were few, if any, that didn’t feel the effects either immediately or over time. The same is true with the automotive industry, which was heavily hit by the financial crisis and the resulting fall out. Big American auto makers like Ford and General Motors either flirted with or dove headfirst into bankruptcy, only to be saved by government action and taxpayer dollars. Despite the effects of the recession — which are still lingering and creating drag on many aspects of the economy — the auto market has actually been doing fairly well.
Of course, the actual job of moving vehicles from factory to consumers falls on the army of dealers spread across every corner of the continent, and the data seems to indicate that dealers are doing fine overall. According to data collected from the National Automobile Dealers Association, employment at dealerships is up 3.4 percent, warranty work topped $14 billion, and profits as a percentage of overall sales stuck at 2.2 percent, the same as the year before. Car dealerships work on notoriously slim profit margins, and although the profit percentage didn’t see any growth, it was mostly due to increased competition amongst dealers, which is good news for consumers.
Source: Wall St. Cheat Sheet