Document Type


Publication Date



auto dealer closures, rural south dakota, business closure

Extension Number

ExEx 9006


Sociology and Rural Studies


Determining the impact of a business closure in a community or county can be a complicated process that requires both economic and demographic data. However, one may begin such an assessment by simply examining the number of people who are employed within an oc¬cupational category in a designated location. This study was prompted largely by recent decisions by Chrysler and General Motors to reduce the number of retail auto dealerships in selected locations. While the financial effects of eliminating rural dealerships are likely well understood by corporate accountants, our intent is to examine what else may happen to rural South Dakota counties that lose a new car dealership. A previ¬ous study has shown that, in South Dakota’s most-rural counties, each new car dealer serves a population that is about 20 percent smaller than the average population served by similar South Dakota dealers (Khatiwada et al. 2008). Another study has shown that, while employment in private industry has been growing in urban areas and along Interstate 29, such employment has been declining in several rural counties (Chatterjee et al. 2009).