> SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE! 

Retailers were reporting comparable new inventory levels for the first two months of 2006 from a year ago while smaller dealerships averaged a 31.1% decline in sales of new units and a 23.2% drop in overall sales, according to consulting firm Spader Business Management.
For the first two months, average new inventory levels were:
• Larger dealers, defined as those with annual income over $10 million, showed a 2% increase in new inventory levels over last year, rising from an average of just under $4.6 million in 2005 to nearly $4.7 million.
• Mid-size dealers with annual income between $5 million and $10 million, reported new inventory levels averaged just over $2 million for 2005 and 2006.
• Smaller dealers, those with annual income less than $5 million, reported new inventory levels averaged slightly above $1.1 million for both years.
According to Spader, all dealer categories recorded a net loss through February. Smaller dealers showed an average net loss of $51,043 compared with a net loss of $34,153 in 2005, reflecting the downturn in sales.
Larger dealers reported an average net loss of $15,458 for the first two months compared with net income of $10,196 last year. The average net loss for mid-size dealers during the two-month period was $34,701 versus a net loss of $32,104 in 2005.
Other highlights from Spader’s monthly report include:
• Total revenues for larger dealers dipped 1.9% from a year ago to an average of nearly $2.3 million for the two-month period while sales of new units were down 2.3% to an average of just under $1.5 million.
• Mid-size dealers showed a 2.1% gain in total sales through February to an average of $795,794 while new unit sales declined 1% to an average of $501,096.
• Total sales for smaller dealers in the first two months showed an average of $273,252 compared with $355,735 in 2005 while new unit sales averaged $157,450 versus $228,591.