The auto industry’s COVID-19 pandemic woes—chief among them supply chain delays that shut down factories and left showrooms looking stripped—were a boon to used car dealerships. Low inventory meant a rise in the price of cars, both new and used. Meanwhile, would-be customers with a car to trade in were getting top dollar.
CoPilot analyzed data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to see how many car dealers per capita there were in 2021, and how the number of establishments and number of people employed changed since 2020.
At the start of the pandemic, people largely avoided mass transit—so much that ridership decreased by 79% between September 2019 and September 2020. Many people were afraid of COVID-19 transmission on public transportation, and many public transit options ran on limited schedules, leaving them with scant options aside from driving.
As the pandemic intensified, automakers and chip buyers cut off purchases amid anxieties around a global recession. A shortage of semiconductors for new cars came next as demand for automobiles rose, sending sales of used cars soaring across the country. Some experts predict similar supply chain problems to continue in 2022.
Find out how many used cars dealers are in your home state, or read the national story here.
Tennessee by the numbers
– Used car dealers per 100k residents: 10.91 (0.8% increase since last year)
– Statewide used car dealers: 754
– Currently employed at used car dealers: 5,976 (7.8% increase since last year)
Amid the height of the pandemic, the price of used cars rose faster than those of new cars. The average cost of all new vehicles, among them cars and SUVs, was more than $47,000 at the end of 2021, representing an increase of more than 25% in two years. Compare that to the average cost of used cars, whose prices were up to $28,000 or a more than 42% spike in 2021.
Nationwide, there are 26,528 used car dealers. That works out to about eight used car dealers per 10,000 residents, an increase of a little more than 2% since 2020. Used car dealers employed 173,860 people, a 10.6% increase over 2020.
Keep reading to see which states have the most and least used car dealers.
States with the most used car dealerships
#1. Maine: 14.9 used car dealers per 100k residents (1.9% decrease since last year)
#2. New Hampshire: 13.5 used car dealers per 100k residents (0% decrease since last year)
#3. Arkansas: 12.95 used car dealers per 100k residents (1% decrease since last year)
States with the fewest used car dealerships
#1. California: 3.69 used car dealers per 100k residents (5.6% increase since last year)
#2. Maryland: 3.98 used car dealers per 100k residents (2.4% decrease since last year)
#3. Hawaii: 4.33 used car dealers per 100k residents (5% increase since last year)
This story originally appeared on CoPilot and was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.