P.M. BRIEFING : Fewer New-Car Dealerships

From Times Wire Services

A survey by Automotive News shows the number of new-car dealerships dropped by 337 last year compared with the year before, the largest decline since the early 1980s.

The weekly automotive trade journal said in today's edition that on Jan. 1, there were 24,576 outlets compared with 24,913 a year earlier, a decline of 1.4%. Automotive News said that the nation's Big Three auto makers lost 214 dealerships and that overseas-based auto makers lost the rest.

The National Automotive Dealers Assn. has said slightly more than half of the nation's dealerships are either losing money or breaking even.

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