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Michael J. Jackson Named AutoNation Chief Executive Officer

Sep. 24, 1999

Former President & CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA
Brings 28 Years of Automotive Retailing Experience

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Sept. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- H. Wayne Huizenga, Chairman of the Board of AutoNation, Inc. (NYSE: AN), America's largest automotive retailer, today announced that Michael J. Jackson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mercedes-Benz USA, Inc., has been named Chief Executive Officer of AutoNation, Inc. Mr. Jackson assumes his new position on October 11.

Mr. Jackson, 50, will be responsible for the further development and execution of all aspects of AutoNation's business strategy. He will report to Mr. Huizenga.

One of today's best known and most highly regarded automotive retailing executives, Mr. Jackson brings more than 28 years of relevant experience to AutoNation. Most recently he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Mercedes-Benz USA, Inc. In this capacity, he was responsible for a company with more than $8 billion in revenue and 311 dealerships. Prior to this role, he was President of Mercedes-Benz USA, with complete profit and loss responsibility for the North American business, including new and used vehicle sales, parts sales, service, financing, marketing, information technology, strategic planning, product planning, customer care, communications and network strategy.

Mr. Jackson also served for six years as the senior marketing executive at Mercedes-Benz USA, where he provided the vision and direction that led to the reinvigoration of the Mercedes-Benz brand in the United States.

Before joining Mercedes-Benz of North America, Mr. Jackson was the Managing Partner of Euro Motorcars of Bethesda, Maryland, a regional dealer of Mercedes-Benz and other brands of automobiles, which at the time of Mr. Jackson's departure had 11 franchises.

Prior to joining Euro Motorcars, Mr. Jackson was a District Manager for Mercedes-Benz of North America. While a Mercedes dealer, Mr. Jackson also served as Chairman of the Mercedes-Benz National Dealer Council for two years, and was selected for the 1990 Sports Illustrated All-Star Dealer Award. Automotive News has twice selected him for its "Dream Team" of automotive executives and he has been recognized four times in Advertising Age as a member of the "Marketing 100." Mr. Jackson began his automotive career as a technician at a Mercedes-Benz dealership in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. AutoNation Chairman H. Wayne Huizenga said, "Mike Jackson is a car guy's car guy. He understands what it takes to be a successful automotive retailer because he's done it himself."

Mr. Huizenga continued, "After meeting with some of the best and brightest in the automotive world, I can say with certainty that Mike Jackson is uniquely qualified to be CEO of AutoNation. Mike has a great combination of automotive retailing experience from both the dealer and the manufacturer perspective. He also understands what it takes to be a successful brand marketer as well as a successful automotive retailer. And he knows how to work with dealers to achieve corporate objectives. These are some of the reasons why we're very pleased that Mike Jackson will be leading our Company into the new millenium."

Mr. Huizenga noted that he has been in discussions with Mr. Jackson for about two months. "Mike and I have spent a great deal of time discussing our ideas regarding automotive retailing. He has also spent significant time with Mike Maroone, our President and Chief Operating Officer. I am confident that Mike Jackson shares our vision for AutoNation and that he will lead our entire dealer network in aggressively implementing that vision."

Commenting on his appointment, Mr. Jackson said, "I love Mercedes-Benz and I love my job there. I would never have considered leaving the Company if it had not been for the opportunity to join AutoNation. I believe in the AutoNation business model. I have admired from a distance how much AutoNation has achieved in such a relatively short period of time. The chance to join such a dynamic organization and to make a personal contribution to AutoNation's continued success is an opportunity that I could not turn down."

Mr. Jackson continued, "AutoNation is unique among automotive retailers. Not only is the company America's largest automotive retailer, AutoNation is also working hard to become America's best automotive retailer. The uniform sales and service policies that the Company is implementing in all of its dealerships are indicative of the kinds of positive improvements that only a national brand can offer. I see a great many parallels between this effort and what we achieved at Mercedes-Benz. I look forward to capitalizing on this experience and to leading AutoNation to a new level of growth and shareholder value."

Commenting on Mr. Jackson's appointment as CEO of AutoNation, Inc., Jurgen E. Schrempp, Chairman of Daimler-Chrysler, Inc., said, "We thank Mike Jackson for a tremendously successful job. He leaves an organization he prepared for the challenges of the future and at a time when he achieved record sales for Mercedes-Benz in the U.S. For his future career, we wish him all the best."

Based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, AutoNation, Inc. is the country's largest automotive retailer, with 412 franchises and/or 42 AutoNation USA used vehicle megastores in 24 states. The Company also operates the world's largest virtual dealership with more than 270 websites offering the largest selection of new and used vehicles on the Internet. AutoNation also owns National Car Rental, Alamo Rent-A-Car and CarTemps USA.

SOURCE AutoNation, Inc.
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