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Internet Christmas Includes Cars; AutoNation Hits $1 Billion Sales Mark

Dec. 23, 1999

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Dec. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Books and CDs may come in packages small enough to fit under the Christmas tree, but Internet shoppers are ordering other, larger items this holiday season-like cars!

AutoNation, Inc. (NYSE: AN), America's largest automotive retailer, today announced that it has sold more than $1 billion worth of vehicles via the Internet over the last 12 months. This makes AutoNation the largest Internet retailer of vehicles, as measured by revenue, placing the Company on a par with Amazon.com for the title of largest Internet retailer. (In a recent survey, the National Retail Federation said Amazon.com had 1998 Internet revenue of $1.1 billion.)

AutoNation crossed the $1 billion mark at 5:31 p.m. last night when Fred Goldman of Mundelein, Illinois took ownership of his 2000 Ford Expedition from the Company's Woodfield Ford dealership in Schaumburg, Illinois.

Led by its AutoNationDirect.com website -- the Internet's largest virtual dealership -- and in combination with websites at many of its individual dealerships, AutoNation has sold nearly 44,000 new and used vehicles via the Internet so far this year, about ten times more than it sold via the Internet in 1998. Based on total revenue, AutoNation's $1 billion in Internet vehicle sales in 1999 ranks the Company first among all other online competitors in the automotive category. Most other automotive sites are middlemen, referring shoppers to dealers who pay these online companies for the leads. AutoNationDirect.com is able to put shoppers in direct contact with AutoNation dealers, who publish prices online and sell vehicles without haggling.

"Like most other retailers, AutoNation jumped into the world of e-Commerce uncertain of what it would find, but certain that the move had to be made. After our first full year of selling vehicles via the Internet, we're pleased to report we have found an enthusiastic customer base that actually prefers buying and financing automobiles via the web," said AutoNation Chief Executive Officer Mike Jackson.

Mr. Jackson said he expects AutoNation's Internet sales to reach $1.5 billion in 2000.

Through its AutoNationDirect.com web site, AutoNation currently offers an online inventory of more than 90,000 new and used vehicles, all priced online to sell at low, no-haggle prices. AutoNation's Internet customers can research prices, compare features and accessories, secure financing, arrange a test drive and select a vehicle for purchase, all online. The Company plans to offer online service scheduling beginning next year. So far this year, the Company's websites are experiencing more than one million homepage visits per month. AutoNation is currently selling vehicles via the Internet at a pace of more than 5,000 units per month.

AutoNation, Inc. is the world's largest automotive retailer, with 409 franchises in 19 states and more than 350 websites.

Certain statements and information included 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, performance 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.
Categories: Press Releases
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