Automotive Sales Manager: Job & Career Information

Mar 15, 2019

Learn about a career as an automotive sales manager. Read the job description, duties, education requirements, salary and employment outlook to decide if this is the right career for you.

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Job Description for an Automotive Sales Manager

An automotive sales manager supervises a team of automotive salespeople. The majority of managers hold positions at car dealerships. Similar to all automotive salespeople, the primary objective of managers is to sell cars. In some cases, managers must provide direction and motivation to the sales staff in order to move the most inventory possible as fast as possible. Additional job duties include hiring, firing, training and setting sales goals for employees. Automotive sales managers also develop annual sales budgets, monitor inventory and cultivate good customer relations. At some dealerships, automotive sales managers are responsible for marketing, advertising and special promotions.

Education Bachelor's degree in business is beneficial, sales experience also helpful
Job Skills Understanding of technology, math and accounting skills, customer service, creativity
Median Salary (2017) $89,380 (for retail sales managers) $121,060 (for all sales managers)
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 7% (for all sales managers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Educational Requirements

Depending on the dealership, automotive sales managers may have an educational background in the field of business management, or they may have a tremendous amount of job experience to qualify them for positions. Many automotive sales managers have a bachelor's degree in business, marketing or a related field, although employers may be more interested in a job candidate's sales experience. Courses that may benefit prospective automotive sales managers include marketing, accounting, management and communications.

Required Skills

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported the following valuable traits for automotive sales managers:

  • Math and accounting skills, since they frequently deal with numbers and sales forecasts
  • Understanding of technology, since businesses are more reliant on computers and databases
  • Management and customer service skills
  • A talent for connecting with customers quickly
  • Initiative and creativity

Employment and Salary Outlook

Many auto companies are expected to consolidate dealerships in the coming years, and experienced automotive sales managers are highly valued, so job-hunting could be very competitive. Overall, job growth is predicted to be average at 7% for sales managers during 2016-2026, according to the BLS. The organization reported that in 2017, sales managers in retail settings, including automotive sales managers, earned a median salary of of $89,380 while sales managers, in general, earned a median salary of $121,060.

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