Retail consulting firm Urban Science has told Automotive News that about 3 percent of U.S. dealerships will close this year, far less than the 8 percent that closed in 2009. The firm estimates 1,603 dealerships closed last year, and an additional 258 dealerships closed between January 1 and July 1. Most dealership closings are concentrated among GM dealerships and Lincoln/Mercury dealerships, with GM attempting to pare its dealer network to around 4,500 (from its 2008 level of 6,200) and Ford closing out the Mercury brand and moving Lincoln sales to existing Ford dealerships. Urban Science estimated that many of the 270 stand-alone Lincoln/Mercury dealerships will accept settlement deals with Ford.
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