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As mobility evolves, fewer personal vehicles will be sold

New Age of Transportation Expected to Thin Auto Dealer Ranks

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Article Highlights

  1. As the age of mobility evolves and the advent of autonomous cars approaches, fewer personal vehicles will be sold, says Mark O'Neil of Cox Automotive.
  2. The number of franchised car dealerships and their owners is expected to decline dramatically in the coming years.
  3. As dealer groups acquire more individual stores, the number of owners will fall, too, O'Neil says. “There are about 9,000 owners now. By 2030, we think there will be 1,000. That’s drastic.”

The number of franchised car dealerships and their owners is expected to decline dramatically in the coming years.

That’s the prediction of Mark O’Neil, chief operating officer of Cox Automotive, a company with brands that include AutoTrader, Manheim auctions, Kelley Blue Book and Dealer.com.

Currently, there are about 16,800 dealerships or “rooftops,” about 2,000 fewer than a decade ago, according to the National Automobile Dealers Assn.

As the age of mobility evolves and the advent of self-driving cars approaches, fewer personal vehicles are expected to be sold. The number of dealerships will drop accordingly, predicts a Cox corporate-strategy study.

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