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Customers Respond Favorably as AutoNationDirect.com Debuts 'Dream Car' and 'Find It' Features

Mar. 20, 2000

AutoNation Reiterates 2000 Target of $1.5 billion
In Internet-Related Sales as Daily Sales Leads Grow

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., March 20 /PRNewswire/ -- AutoNation (NYSE: AN) said today that an overwhelmingly positive consumer reaction to "Dream Car" and "Find It" features introduced last week on its AutoNationDirect.com retail web site have reinforced the Company's belief that its Internet-related vehicle sales will reach $1.5 billion this year. AutoNationDirect.com is already America's largest online dealership.

"While these are brand new features, we're nonetheless impressed by the positive, initial reception consumers have had to the recent enhancements to AutoNationDirect.com," said Michael J. Jackson, AutoNation's Chief Executive Officer. "We had these and other future site enhancements in mind when we set our 2000 target of $1.5 billion last year. Now, with daily customer sales leads growing, we should once again finish the year as the leading direct retailer of automobiles on the Internet."

AutoNation says consumers are responding favorably to AutoNationDirect's new "Build Your Dream Car" and "Let Us Find It for You" services. The "Dream Car" feature, powered by Chrome Data Corp., records a customer's unique product preferences -- trim levels, exterior and interior colors, optional equipment -- and instantly e-mails this profile to one of AutoNation's more than 900 in-store Internet Sales Guides (ISGs).

Using this profile, the ISGs comb AutoNationDirect's online inventory of more than 100,000 new and used vehicles for a match. If a matching vehicle isn't available from AutoNationDirect's existing inventory of "no-haggle" priced cars and light trucks, an ISG at an AutoNation-owned dealership can order the vehicle directly from the manufacturer, or through a secondary source, again at a low, no-haggle price.

AutoNationDirect's other new search feature, "Let Us Find It for You," offers customers a short form they can use to have ISGs conduct similar searches, including searches of vehicles leaving manufacturers' plants for AutoNation-owned dealerships.

"Consumers can now use AutoNationDirect to go online and tap the deep resources of our dealerships to buy the exact vehicle they're looking for," said Tom Eggleston, AutoNation's Senior Vice President, e-Commerce. "Unlike web sites that only sell sales leads to dealers, or act as brokers for consumers, AutoNationDirect combines cutting-edge technology and experienced in-store sales help with direct, online access to vehicles sold by America's largest automotive retailer."

Customers can still conduct their own vehicle searches, using AutoNationDirect's original "Tour the Lot" feature, which combs through the web site's priced inventory. Last year, AutoNationDirect's "Tour the Lot" feature and AutoNation's more than 200 other dealership web sites contributed to the more than $1 billion worth of new and used vehicle sales AutoNation generated via the Internet.

AutoNationDirect uses Chrome Data's "WebCarbook" technology, which allows the web site's customers to review product specifications for thousands of new vehicles. Product data provided through Chrome Data includes MSRP pricing, vehicle photography and descriptions of standard and optional equipment.

About Chrome Data Corp.

Chrome Data, based in Portland, Ore., pioneered the technology behind electronic vehicle configuration and for the past 14 years has collected, analyzed and enhanced "raw" automotive data from all manufacturers. Chrome's flagship product, PC Carbook, is widely accepted as an industry standard.

About AutoNation, Inc.

AutoNation, a Fortune 100 company, is America's largest automotive retailer -- on and off the web -- with 412 new vehicle franchises in 19 states and more than 200 web sites.

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.
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