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AutoNation to Upgrade 'Maroone' Dealerships on Miami's Calle Ocho, Selects Willy Chirino as Retailer's First Spanish-Language Spokesman

Jun. 12, 2002
MIAMI, Jun 12, 2002 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ --

Miami Mayor Manny Diaz Praises Company's $10 Million Investment in the City

AutoNation, Inc. (NYSE: AN), America's largest retailer of both new and used vehicles, announced today two major developments for "Maroone," its South Florida retail brand: $10 million in capital improvements for its stores on Miami's "Calle Ocho" and the selection of Latin recording artist Willy Chirino as the brand's first spokesman for Spanish-language media.

Michael E. Maroone, AutoNation's President and Chief Operating Officer, said the $10 million will be used to build an all-new Maroone Nissan on Southwest 8th Street and 34th Avenue and to re-model Maroone Chevrolet on the corner of Southwest 8th Street and Le Jeune Road (42nd Avenue). The new Maroone Nissan is slated to open in January 2003 and will be followed by the re-modeling of Maroone Chevrolet.

"This investment in Miami ensures these stores will continue to be a vital part of the city, selling cars and trucks along 'Calle Ocho,' as they have been doing for more than five decades," said Maroone.

Meanwhile, later this year, "Maroone" ads featuring Chirino will debut in Spanish-language print, radio and television outlets in South Florida. The radio and television ads will feature a jingle composed by Chirino. The entertainer will be the "Maroone" brand's second spokesperson in addition to the legendary ex-Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino.

"It thrills me as a long-time Dolphins fan to be joining a legend like Dan Marino in representing Miami's -- and Calle Ocho's -- leading automotive retail brand," said Chirino. "Clearly, for Maroone, this is about more than just translating advertisements into Spanish; this is about a deep commitment to a market and a community."

Added Maroone: "Our new relationship with Willy Chirino gives us an excellent opportunity to deepen our ties with South Florida's Hispanic market."

The Honorable Mayor of Miami Manny Diaz, who attended a press event today at the site of the original Maroone Nissan built in 1958, used the occasion to call attention to AutoNation's decision to remain a part of S.W. 8th Street.

"AutoNation is answering my challenge to business leaders to increase economic development and opportunities within the City of Miami," the Mayor said.

About AutoNation and Maroone

"Maroone" is the South Florida automotive retail brand for AutoNation, Inc. (NYSE: AN), the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.- based company that is America's largest retailer of both new and used vehicles. In South Florida, AutoNation employs approximately 3,500 people at 28 dealership locations in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. Throughout the U.S., AutoNation employs approximately 30,000 people at 374 new vehicle franchises in 17 states.

Maroone Nissan is currently operating out of a temporary location at 1505 Ponce de Leon Blvd. in Coral Gables, Florida.

For additional information, please visit, where consumers can find more than 100,000 vehicles available for sale, or, where up to 20,000 vehicles are available for sale.

SOURCE AutoNation, Inc.

CONTACT: Wendy Radicy, CreatAbility, +1-305-663-7374, or, for AutoNation /Photo: AP Archive: PRN Photo Desk, 888-776-6555 or 212-782-2840 /Company News On-Call:


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