Employment at the nation’s medium- and heavy-duty truck dealership was up 12.3% last year, according to a report released by the American Truck Dealers.
In 2017, the truck dealer industry employed more than 145,300 people, hitting its highest level in five years. By far the largest groups of truck dealer employees were in the parts, service and maintenance departments. Technicians alone made up 37.1% of all dealership employees on average, while sales people only represented 5.8% of employees.
While employment was up at these dealerships, demand remained high for technical positions within the service department. The increase in employment also correlated with a general increase in profitability for truck dealerships.
“Truck dealers continue to contribute to their communities with jobs that pay well and offer the ability for advancement,” said Patrick Manzi, ATD senior economist. “Last year, the majority of truck dealership employees saw their incomes rise.”
An uptick in employment corresponded with a general increase in profitability for dealerships. Truck dealers sold 3.7% more medium- and heavy-duty trucks in 2017, and total new truck dealership sales topped $97 billion, up 13.9% compared to 2016. Texas saw the largest amount of sales, worth over $7.9 billion, while the state with the least sales was Delaware, at $258 million.
Service and parts remains an integral part of the truck dealer business, with new technologies allowing for more efficient service scheduling and communication to reduce downtime. Last year, service and parts sales increased to $31 billion from more than 11 million repair orders for the year.
“With new and advanced communication technologies, commercial vehicle drivers can receive up-to-date information about which dealerships in the area have the parts and availability to service their vehicles the fastest,” said Manzi. “Truck drivers will no longer have to stop and wait while they find out if a dealer has a part they need.”
To read the full ATD report, click here.