(AP) - MORE CAR DEALERS: The number of U.S. car dealerships rose in 2011 after several years of sharp declines during the recession. There were 17,767 dealerships at the end of 2011, or 108 more than the year before, according to consulting firm Urban Science. That's a big reversal from 2009, when the country lost 1,603 dealerships.
WHAT'S DRIVING IT: The largest contributor in 2011 was Fiat. Among states, California had the most dealership openings, with 31.
WHAT'S NEXT: The downsized dealer base is on track to see record sales per dealership this year. The current record is 784 sales per dealership in 2005.
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