automotive retailing

In connecticut

Connecticut has a rich automotive history. In fact, the state was once considered the auto capital of the world, when Pope Manufacturing of Hartford produced more than half of all motorized vehicles in the United States. Though auto manufacturing didn’t survive here, automotive retailing has thrived. Founded in 1921, The Connecticut Automotive Retailers (CAR) Association represents Connecticut’s new vehicle dealerships. Its two hundred and seventy members sell every major automobile brand and account for nearly 18% of total retail sales in our state.

In addition to their economic significance, automotive retailers play a critical role in the communities where they do business. They provide tremendous financial support to local charities. They vote and pay taxes. They provide good jobs. Their employees are your neighbors. Dealerships will continue to play a pivotal role for both our state and local economies.


Founded in 1921, The Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association represents Connecticut's new-vehicle dealerships. Its approximately three hundred members sell every major automobile brand, and account for almost 18% of total retail sales in our state.

The 270 Connecticut Auto Dealers and CARA directly employ 14,000 people at our dealerships. Almost all our stores are generationally owned family small businesses, but taken as a whole, CARA dealers are one of the largest economic drivers in Connecticut.
— Jim Fleming, CARA President

Driving Connecticut’s

economy forward


270 new car dealerships
with 57 employees average per dealership


29,144 total jobs includes 14,397 directs jobs + 14,747 indirect and induced jobs


$10.3 billion total sales 17.7% share of total retail sales in state


$880 million payroll $62,889 average annual earnings $327M state + federal income taxes paid





get invlovled





issues + Action

The CT Automotive Retailers Association is invested in supporting its 270 members by taking an interest in the many issues that are important to the future of automotive businesses here in Connecticut.


Franchise System

The Connecticut Franchise Laws relating to the sale and service of motor vehicles in Connecticut perform a triple purpose:

  • Protect Connecticut consumers by helping with warranty issues and recall work from manufacturers whereby dealerships are advocates for the consumer. 

  • Protect and regulate local, independently owned auto dealerships

  • Provide State Legislators the means to keep 'guard rails' on a large industry within the state, promoting free trade, a level playing field, and a fair business climate. 

The franchise system employs people in a variety of jobs: billing, human resources, technicians, mechanics, sales personnel, IT, marketing, and administrative help. Many of the dealers in Connecticut are family owned and have been for generations. 


Charitable Foundation

The Greater Hartford Automotive Dealer Association (GHADA) Foundation is committed to supporting charitable organizations throughout Connecticut that are focused on serving the community.


Direct Sale

CARA remains opposed to any legislation providing Tesla Corporation a Loophole from existing pro consumer and pro Connecticut based businesses.  All CARA members and their employees are urged to call your State Representatives and Senator to express our strong disagreement with giving special treatment to an out of state corporation at the expense of the 270 local auto dealerships and our 14,000 hardworking employees.