Dealer profits were down slightly for 2004 while total sales and inventories grew in all retail sectors, according to consulting firm Spader Business Management.
Large dealers, defined as those having over $10 million in annual sales, saw earnings for the full year drop 2.4% to an average of $862,495 compared to $883,667 in 2003.
Net earnings for midsize dealers, those with $5 to $10 million in annual sales, were down 4.5% from the previous year to an average of $312,649 while profits for dealers in the below $5 million category remained steady, down just 0.4% to an average of $118,410.
Total inventory levels, in terms of dollars, were up in all retail categories, as large dealers on average showed a 15% climb over 2003 to $5.3 million; midsize dealers grew inventories by 11% to $2.3 million; and smaller dealers had a 10% increase to $1.2 million.
Other performance highlights for the year:
*Large dealers posted a 7% increase in total sales to an average of $19.9 million compared to $18.6 million in 2003. New units sales grew around 8% to an average of $12.4 million while new unit inventories were up 18% over 2003 at $4.3 million.
* Overall sales for midsize dealers increased 7% to an average of $8.3 million, including 9% growth in new unit sales to $5.3 million. New unit inventory was up 11% to an average of $1.9 million compared to $1.7 million in 2003.
* Smaller dealers grew revenues 12% from an average of $3.6 million in 2003 to just over $4 million for 2004. On average, new unit sales were $2.4 million, up 13% from $2.1 million in 2003, while new unit inventories rose 11% to just over $1 million.