The U.S. auto market is gearing up for significant changes in 2024, as predicted by the Cox Automotive Economic and Industry Insights team. Amidst these shifts, strategic hiring emerges as a pivotal factor for auto dealerships.


With economic uncertainties and changing consumer behaviors, recruiting the right talent is crucial. We delve into the key themes for 2024 and how they underscore the importance of strategic hiring in the automotive sector.

Impact on Hiring in a Slow Growth Environment

The year 2024 is projected to be a period of tepid economic growth, avoiding a recession. High interest rates, alongside a predicted continuation of declining inflation, are expected to constrain consumer spending. The labor market, a key driver for vehicle sales, may see a slowdown in job and income growth.


Recruitment should focus on individuals with a strong understanding of finance and customer engagement to thrive in a market where consumer spending might increase by only 2-3% as per industry forecasts.

Vehicle Supply Dynamics and Staffing Strategies with 2024 Automotive Market Outlook

New-vehicle inventory is expected to return to pre-pandemic levels in 2024, nearly tripling from the lows during the chip shortage crisis. This increase in supply, coupled with greater incentives and discounting, requires a salesforce adept at leveraging these changes.


Dealerships should aim to hire sales professionals proficient in value-based selling. This approach ensures they can effectively communicate the true worth of vehicles to customers, maximizing sales in a more competitive market.

Navigating the Shift from Seller’s to Buyer’s Market

The market shift to more buyer-friendly dynamics will challenge sales departments, especially with MSRPs and invoice prices expected to rise due to material and labor costs. This scenario calls for hiring strategic thinkers who can innovate sales approaches in a market where new-vehicle sales growth is expected to be less than 2%. The emphasis should be on personnel who can manage profit margins effectively while adapting to the evolving electric vehicle market.

Electric Vehicle Market Expansion

The electric vehicle market is set for expansion, with sales projected to exceed 1 million units. This growth necessitates hiring experts in EV technology.


Dealerships should recruit individuals with technical knowledge and customer education skills, especially as electric vehicles are expected to account for over 10% of total sales. This segment’s growth underscores the need for specialized training and expertise in the workforce.

Return to Normalcy in Car Buying

With the market normalizing, the emphasis on customer service becomes paramount. The blend of digital and traditional sales methods requires staff skilled in both areas. Dealerships should focus on addressing a market where consumer satisfaction with the car buying process is expected to improve significantly from the lows of 2021 and 2022.

Conclusion: Strategic Hiring as a Key to Success in 2024

Strategic hiring is essential for auto dealerships to succeed in 2024. The right team will navigate economic challenges, capitalize on market shifts, and enhance the customer experience. Dealerships that prioritize building a skilled and adaptable workforce will stand out in the dynamic automotive market of 2024.