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Cox Automotive Dealership Staffing Study

How much insufficient training is costing dealerships


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Article Highlights

  1. Stores have a 67-percent annual turnover rate among its sales teams, and the average cost of hiring a new dealership employee is $10,000.
  2. Isabelle Helms, vice president of research and market intelligence, Cox Automotive, suspected the project would highlight the stereotypical challenges about working at a dealership — long hours during a six-day workweek while being compensated mainly by commission. However, Helms emphasized it was the training component that she thought impacted dealerships most, especially since it’s possible that the quality of worker support could be improved.
  3. “We know there are dealerships out there, in particular the more progressive dealerships, the larger dealer groups, that have formal training programs in place. Those are the ones who should be modeled. But for the most part we saw a huge absence in training,” Helms said.

The data points Cox Automotive found through its dealership staffing study are startling.

Stores have a 67-percent annual turnover rate among its sales teams, and the average cost of hiring a new dealership employee is $10,000.

Perhaps one of the primary reasons dealerships are burdened by those personnel challenges is connected to training — or the lack of it. The anecdotes shared by Isabelle Helms, vice president of research and market intelligence at Cox Automotive, paint a grim picture.

During a phone conversation before the study was released this week, Helms told Auto Remarketing, “One person said, ‘I assisted with a salesperson for one week and then they threw me out to the sharks.’”

“Another one said, ‘Training? Huh? I was required to complete all online ‘training’ mandated by the OEM and the dealer. Otherwise there’s never any training,’” Helms continued.

The 2017 Cox Automotive Dealership Staffing research was conducted on behalf of Cox Automotive by KS&R with consultation from Hireology. The study was fielded among a random representative sample of 50 dealer owners, principals and general managers through an online discussion about their current dealership staffing practices and challenges.

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