SOURCE: Small Business Research Board

May 14, 2008 14:53 ET

Q1 Small Business Research Board Automotive Vehicle Dealer and Service Industry Key Issues Report: Auto, Other Vehicle Dealers Report Increased Revenue Expectations Says Latest SBRB Report

Of the Owners and Managers Responding to the Nationwide Quarterly SBRB Poll, Co-Sponsored by International Profit Associates, 48% Said They Expect Increased Revenues in the Next Twelve Months

BUFFALO GROVE, IL--(Marketwire - May 14, 2008) - During the first quarter of 2008, owners and managers of small automotive and other vehicle dealerships indicated they look toward increased revenues, yet expect no change or a worse economy in the next 12 months, according to the latest Small Business Research Board (SBRB) study released here today.

Regarding the economy, 68% of owners and managers of automotive/vehicle dealers said they expect no change or a worse economy in the next 12 months. 43% expect their employee headcount will remain consistent with 2007, and 21% expect to increase hiring, according to the SBRB Automotive & Vehicle Dealer Industry Report. 30% believe the single most important issue impacting their business is taxes, 28% said it is interest rates.

Meanwhile, the quarterly report said 47% of the responding businesses have raised prices in response to fuel prices. For those businesses adjusting to an increase in fuel prices, 21% have eliminated routes, or reduced the length of delivery routes. 19% are ordering less inventory and boosting miles per gallon efficiency on existing vehicles. Adding or increasing shipping and handling costs was the fifth mentioned possibility for offsetting costs with 15% reporting a reduction in business travel and a commitment to vehicles with better miles per gallon efficiency.

Ordering materials from sources closer to their business operations had 9% of the vote.

More than 1,000 small businesses participated in the overall nationwide third quarter SBRB poll supported by IPA. IPA, with more than 1,800 professionals, is the largest privately-held provider of management consulting services to small and medium-size businesses in North America. IPA is based in Buffalo Grove, Ill. The SBRB study is a voluntary survey conducted quarterly. The universe of participants is developed from among small businesses across the United States.

The Small Business Research Board ascertains and reports the opinions of small business owners and managers on a wide variety of topics related to their own businesses as well as national and international issues that may impact their operations. The SBRB conducts these studies for the benefit of small business owners and managers. The SBRB also provides opportunities for third parties to gain real time insight into the attitudes of small businesses nationwide through the independently conducted research. The latest information about the Small Business Research Board can be found at

The SBRB also provides a quarterly Small Business Confidence Index (SBCI) for all U.S. businesses, as well as those in five industries, in addition to trend reports for the transportation industry, among others.

Also, as previously reported, the SBRB SBCI for all U.S. small businesses increased to 44 points during the first quarter, a rise of 10 points from the prior period. The opinions and projections about the strength of the economy, revenues and hiring looking forward 12 months are the three key ingredients to determining the SBCI and providing the basis for these quarterly and annual comparisons. The historical SBRB SBCI high occurred during the first quarter of 2005 when the SBCI hit 52 points. The historical low was during the third quarter of 2005 when the SBCI fell to 39.3 points.

The latest information about the Small Business Research Board can be found at

© 2008 Small Business Research Board

For more information about this poll, results of previous studies or other matters related to the Small Business Research Board, please contact Jennifer Cumbee, (847) 495-6786.

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