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Succession Planning Survey

About the Study

Councilor, Buchanan & Mitchell, P.C. (CBM) participated with the National Alliance of Auto Dealer Advisors (NAADA) on the first nationwide survey of clients on succession planning for auto dealership owners. The final survey results come from a partnership of firms, which collectively represent more than 1,000 dealerships throughout the country from single point stores and multi-state enterprises. NAADA is a nationwide network of accounting firms that specialize in working with auto dealers and their ownership teams.

Different from studies you may find in the market, the succession planning survey focused on the state of mind of the owners responding, rather than some of the hard metrics on the number of retiring dealership owners.

This study includes results that represent more than 285 dealerships nationwide. Nearly 80% of the respondents were owners.

Survey Highlights

  • Dealers, like other owners, are pushing off succession by 5+ years.
  • Number one inhibitor to succession planning is timing and the current owner’s willingness to step back


1/3 of dealerships don’t have a succession plan in place


Nearly 50% of dealerships know succession is important, but haven’t dealt with it yet


For those with a plan, 79% are looking at an internal transition 


As with other professions, auto dealers are still struggling with succession planning. The owners face many of the same challenges as other professions, as well as some unique ones. Stay tuned as we explore more findings from this study in the coming months. Our articles will suggest several solutions to these issues.

For more information, please contact John Comunale, CPA or Keith Laudenberger, CPA.


Contact Succession Planning Survey Team

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