The National Automobile Dealers Association reported that at the end of 2019, there were 16,682 franchised light-vehicle dealerships in the U.S. Opportunities for car dealership sales managers are available throughout the U.S. and in towns large and small. As of May 2019, approximately 23,910 sales managers were employed at automobile dealerships in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
The position of sales manager is also not typically an entry-level job. Most sales managers start their careers as automobile sales workers or in another position at a dealership. Many find automotive dealership jobs through openings posted on dealerships' Web sites. Car sales employment opportunities are also listed on employment Web sites such as Indeed.com, JobHero.com, LinkedIn, SimplyHired, and others.
Sales managers with years of successful experience advance by becoming general managers of dealerships. If they work for small dealerships they move up to working for larger dealerships, overseeing more staff. They may also advance by selling more expensive and prestigious vehicles, or eventually owning their own dealerships.
Learn more about automobile sales and dealerships by reading industry publications such as Auto Success (https://www.autosuccessonline.com), Auto Dealer Today (https://www.autodealertodaymagazine.com), NADA Headlines (https://www.nada.org/nadaheadlines), and Used Car Dealer (https://www.usedcardealermagazine.com).
Get an entry-level job in sales or another department in an automotive dealership to learn about the field and make valuable industry contacts. Search job openings on dealerships' Web site pages.
Conduct informational interviews with dealership sales managers and ask them for advice on preparing for and entering the field.
Join a professional association, such as the Sales Management Association (https://salesmanagement.org), for networking opportunities and career-support resources.