A recent study by Grant Thornton LLP asserts that as many as 3,800
U.S. car dealerships may close in the coming year because of falling sales and tighter credit, Reuters reports.

U.S. light vehicle sales are predicted to fall to the 13.7-million-unit range in 2009, with any recovery in demand not expected until 2010.

Some 18 percent of the total number of U.S. car dealerships would need to close to maintain sales per dealer at last year's level of about 750 units, the study says.

Thornton says other sources of revenue for dealers such as used car sales and financing profits are also falling.

The Detroit 3 are being hit hardest. All three U.S. automakers are shrinking their U.S. dealer network. Analysts say this is necessary for the solvency of remaining stores, according to the Reuters report.