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How Much Do Car Dealership Managers Make - Whats The Average

By Majedul Haque Shakil Last Updated -- Saturday, 2024-01-27
how much do car dealership managers make

In the United States or in the Global how much do car dealership Managers Make? Salary ranges vary on your qualifications, skills, certifications and many other things.

Managing and owning a car dealership is both exciting and challenging.

Auto dealerships are an important and integral part of the automotive industry. If you have good communication and convincing abilities and love challenging jobs, then you can try for a car dealership manager position. 

And its salary range is pretty high. 

When talking about performing car dealership work, you have to learn the fundamentals of dealership management. This guide will help you to find out how much do car dealership managers make.

We also learn some strategies and paths to manage a car dealership program effectively and maximise ROI.

Let's talk 

What is the Car Dealership Program?

An automotive car dealership program is a business that helps customers purchase new vehicles for selling or leasing. Clients can easily take advantage of this dealership program.

A car dealership program offers a range of services and solutions, including 

In recent years, the automotive dealership industry has seen significant growth. It's all about technological advancements and consumer behaviour changes.

You must remember one thing: a car dealership manager handles all of this.

What is a General Manager?

General managers ensure a business or department functions effectively and perfectly. Those in this position perform an important organisational role in a company's leadership structure. Sometimes, he has to make some important decisions that directly affect the output. So, without any doubt, it is an important position for any organisation.

If you enjoy guiding others to do their best work, a GM job may be perfect for you. Later, we will talk about how to be a perfect general manager, but now let's discuss other things. Other things like the wages of a general manager and the role of a dealership manager.

What is the Role Of a Dealership Manager?


The job of a car dealership manager is varied and complex. They must juggle many different responsibilities at once. In the meantime, I will also keep an eye on long-term goals and objectives.

As a manager of a car dealership or fleet, your primary responsibility is to supervise the daily operations of the dealership.

You must ensure that your car dealership manager gains some success in their leadership.

A Dealership manager is responsible for 

  • Managing the sales team
  • Coordinating with manufacturers 
  • Handling customer inquiries
  • Implementing effective marketing strategies
  • Conducting regular team meetings to discuss sales strategies, addressing challenges, and motivating the team

In addition to these responsibilities, dealership managers also maintain an important role in dealing with financial stability and maximising profits.

A car dealership manager is something like being the captain of a ship. You must guide your ship to reach its ultimate goal. 

You are responsible for running the dealership in the right direction and making appropriate decisions. Confirming that all departments work together harmoniously. 

It's a challenging role, you must admit. It that requires strong leadership skills, excellent communication, and a deep understanding of the automotive industry.

How Much Do Car Dealership Managers Make - Total Breakdown 

So, it's a common question for anyone wanting to be a car dealership manager.

So if you want to get the highest salary range in this section, you must be skilful. However, you have many responsibilities to handle to do this kind of job.

At first, we have to clear that one thing. What is that? Dealership manager salaries depend on four simple things 

  • Levels of education 
  • Years of experience 
  • Skills
  • Size and location of the dealership

A dealership manager is a great way to get your foot in the door of the automotive industry. As a dealership manager, you will have the chance to work with different departments and learn many things. Most of all you will gain experience in how to deal with customers and how to sell cars.

What do you need to become a dealership manager? Yes sir !!! You need a good understanding of the dealership program features and price. You also need to be updated with the latest technology and the latest trends in car products.

How much does a dealership manager make in the USA?

According to ZipRecruiter, the basic annual pay for a dealership general manager in the United States is $130,333 a year.


If you are from Berkeley, CA, New York City or Renton, you are in luck. Because they offer the highest salaries for car dealership manager jobs, let's check some of the other cities.

how much does a car sales manager make a year?



Annual Salary

Berkeley, CA


Daly City, CA


New York City, NY


Renton, WA


Santa Monica


Gilroy, CA


Boston, MA


Many sites are well popular and famous for reviews. Basically, they gather information and reviews from employees or former employees about companies, salaries, and even job openings.

Some of the top sites we can mention 

  • ZipRecruiter 
  • Payscale
  • Glassdoor
  • Indeed

Let's find out how much do car dealership managers make according to the top online platform.

According to the Top online platform 

Yearly pay for car dealership managers









$64,329 and $82,420

Other than car dealership managers, there are a few other posts where you can find great salaries.

According to ZipRecruiter 

High-paying car sales jobs position 

Salary Range (per year)

Dealership General Manager


Pre Owned Sales Manager

(sales manager car dealer salary)


Used Car Sales Manager


Automotive General Sales Manager

(Dealer manager salary)


Fleet Sales Manager

(Car dealer salary )


Automotive Sales Manager

(Car dealership salesman salary )


Fleet Supervisor


BMW Sales Consultant


Car Dealership Sales Representative



If we consider gender diversity, women are also interested in the dealership manager job sector.


How to Become a Car Dealership Manager


To effectively manage a car dealership program, you have so many responsibilities. Every day is a challenge for you. You have to maintain all those responsibilities. There are some limitations, too. Limitations like 

  • Dealing with different customers with different personalities and preferences
  • High-pressure situations 
  • Stay updated with regularly changing market trends.

We already know how much do car dealership managers make on average So it's time to know how to be one.

Put them all aside, if you want to be a dealership manager, there are certain steps and qualifications you must fulfil.

Complete Your Education Part 

The very first step to becoming a GM is to complete your required educational bachelor's degree. So, take some serious study on business, finance, marketing, and economics. Learn leadership in business studies. Sometimes, a high school diploma is the minimum requirement for car dealership employees requirement.

Gain Some Experience 

In this field, work experience is necessary. Gaining some work experience with your friend helps you to be a better general manager. You can fulfil your initial stage with some internship. In this internship, you can learn many important things that can make a bridge in your successful career.

This hands-on experience will set you apart from the competition.

Earn Some Valuable Certificates 

By Taking some online courses. Online courses and certificates help you to increase your salary range in the working field. Here are some of the popular organisations that help you get your certificate 

  • Automotive Sales Professional
  • Commercial Driver License (CDL)
  • Certified Sales Professional (CSP)
  • Sales Management
  • Certified IT Consultant (CITC)
  • Certified Professional, 
  • Life and Health Insurance Program (CPLHI)

Building a Strong Professional Network

professional Networking is a powerful tool for career advancement. Connect with professionals in the automotive sector through industry events, conferences, and online platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and other mediums. A professional network helps to  open doors to opportunities and provide valuable insights.

Understanding Sales and Customer Service

A successful Car Dealership Manager must have a deep understanding of sales strategies. It prioritises exceptional customer service.It is time to Establish long-term relationships with customers is crucial for achieving success.

Effective Team Management

Leading a dealership team requires strong leadership skills. Now Create a positive work environment, encourage collaboration, and motivate your team to achieve their best. 

Effective team management contributes to the overall success of the dealership.

Financial Management

Understanding the basics of financial management is crucial for a Car Dealership Manager.To ensure the success of the dealership's finances, it is important to learn about budgeting, cost control, and financial analysis.

Apply To General Manager Position 

Finally, when you have enough experience and knowledge about this sector, it is time to go job hunting. So take some serious preparation and be confident about getting the job.

The application process for a GM position is usually different from an entry-level job or a newcomer.

As it may involve different stages like group interviews and viva. You can use these interviews as an opportunity to show your skills.

What Makes a Good Automotive General Manager

Pretty much every automotive general manager wants to be a great and popular person through their employees. A great automotive general manager holds many skills and qualities in their everyday work. If you want to be a good car dealership manager, then develop this section.

Take advantage of Technology 

Think smart and be smart. 

In 2024, technology support will be mandatory for any sector. Those days are gone when people believed in human labour work. In human labour, there are so many errors and limitations.

Every sector people are using many software and solution to make work faster and smother. So why not you ????

In the hospital sector, they use a hospital management system; in the ERP sector, Businessmen use sales ERP software.

In the Automotive sector, we also use a vehicle management system. A vehicle management system helps a general manager in many different ways.

What is the small used car dealer software?


What is the software for auto dealership?

Nowadays, dealership managers can operate powerful software solutions to automate various parts of the business. It improves the operational system method and streamlines everything that runs efficiently and cost-effectively. 

The software organises all the work easily without any errors and in a cost-effective manner.

Excellent Leadership And Communication Skills 

A good automotive general manager is a natural leader, and he tries to motivate his team. So proper and good leadership is always a key part of a general manager.

On the other hand, in the dealing sector, communication skills are always important and the best skills for a general manager. Always prefer customer satisfaction and quality care for them. So, if you want to be a good dealership manager, then leadership and great communication skills are mandatory.

Strategic Thinking And Problem-Solving Ability 

The challenge is a day-to-day task for a general manager. So you need to accomplish that skills in your bucket.

A great general manager should possess the qualities of adaptability, flexibility, and preparedness to face any problem.

They embrace change and encourage their team to do the same.

And Most Off All Team Building Ability

Good and quality managers know how to deal with their employees. He knows how to complete his work through workers. Some things look funny, but it's a skill that you have to gain.

They are adept at recruiting top talent, employee growth, and creating a culture of teamwork and excellence.

Final Thought

So before applying for this position you have to know how much do car dealership managers make. We hope you get a better idea about how they get and how to be a dealership manager.

It's a matter of fact that the general manager of a car dealership is continuously growing.

By processing essential skills and contributing to dealership success, car dealership managers can drive revenue growth. It will lead you to make some huge dollars for you.