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Dealer Principal Job Description

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Automobile dealerships employ a staff of salespersons to sell cars to consumers. The person who manages these employees and operations and frequently owns the business is the dealer principal, also commonly called the general manager. According to, a dealer principal in the United States earned an average annual salary of $114,324 as of August 2010.

Job Duties

The main duties of a dealer principal are selling cars and guaranteeing optimum customer satisfaction. To maintain profit margins, she must keep the inventory diverse and large enough to meet customer demands. Negotiating deals with customers is a significant part of her job.

Skill Requirements

Projecting an image of honesty and integrity is imperative to build customer confidence. Motivational skills are needed to inspire and lead the sales staff. Math acumen enables the dealer principal to calculate attractive customer discounts and still generate profits.

Preferred Background

A dealer principal needs a minimum of two years automobile sales background and five years as a manager or supervisor. Knowledge of the automobile industry is a plus. Experience in customer relations is helpful.


Cassie Damewood has been a writer and editor since 1985. She writes about food and cooking for various websites, including My Great Recipes, and serves as the copy editor for "Food Loves Beer" magazine. Damewood completed a Bachelor of Arts in English with an emphasis in creative writing at Miami University.

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