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|AutoNation Selects Tampa Bay Area As Its Next Market For Low, No-Haggle Prices|
12 Tampa Bay Area Dealerships to adopt the AutoNation USA Brand;
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Oct. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- AutoNation, Inc. (NYSE: AN), America's leading automotive retailer, today announced that it has selected the Tampa Bay area of Florida as the next market where its franchised dealerships will co-brand under a common name and the "AutoNation USA" brand to sell new and used vehicles in a no-haggle, one-low-price shopping environment.
The Company said that, beginning December 26, 12 of its dealerships in the Tampa Bay area would offer many of the sales and service features that generated exceptionally strong market-share and sales gains throughout the year in Denver. Denver is the first market where AutoNation implemented a common brand name and a no-haggle sales approach in its new vehicle franchises.
The switch to low, no-haggle pricing and the use of the AutoNation USA co- brand for most of its Tampa Bay area stores will involve more than 2,000 AutoNation associates in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater. In addition to the no-haggle sales approach, these associates will be trained over the next 60 days in offering "Fast or Free" vehicle service; full-disclosure, menu- pricing on finance products; a 3-day money-back guarantee on new and used vehicles, and a 99-day warranty on quality certified used vehicles.
Similar offerings in Denver helped the Company's 17 "John Elway AutoNation USA" dealerships score dramatic increases in same-store new vehicle sales, customer satisfaction scores and market share. The Denver dealerships finished the third quarter with a 27 percent share of the city's entire new car and light truck market -- an increase of more than 40 percent since the Denver stores adopted no-haggle pricing earlier this year.
The no-haggle sales philosophy has also brought profits. AutoNation's Denver dealerships saw third-quarter vehicle gross profit increase 22 percent from a year ago. Net profit margins in Denver in the third quarter exceeded the National Automobile Dealers Association industry average and are comparable to those the dealerships had before switching to low, no-haggle pricing.
"This solid third-quarter performance from our Denver stores gives us tremendous confidence in the business model we have chosen for defining the AutoNation USA brand," said Mike Jackson, AutoNation's Chief Executive Officer. "Now, it is time to replicate our 'Mile High' success in Tampa."
Added Michael E. Maroone, AutoNation's President and Chief Operating Officer, "We will succeed in Tampa, as we did in Denver, by making an upfront investment in associate training to ensure our dealerships are ready to deliver the automotive buying and ownership experience consumers have been demanding."
AutoNation, Inc. is the world's largest automotive retailer on and off the web, with 406 new vehicle franchises in 20 states, 41 AutoNation USA used vehicle megastores and an industry-leading web site, AutoNationDirect.com. A Fortune 100 company, AutoNation's vehicle rental businesses include Alamo Rent-A-Car, Inc., National Car Rental System, Inc. and CarTemps USA, which collectively have operations nationwide and in more than 65 countries. The Company has announced plans to spin off those rental businesses next year in a tax-free share distribution to AutoNation shareholders.
Certain statement and information incurred in this release constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Federal Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance, or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future results, performances, or achievements expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements. Additional discussion of factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from management's projections, forecasts, estimates and expectations is contained in the Company's SEC filings.SOURCE AutoNation, Inc.
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