||A major contributor to this article appears to have a close connection with its subject. (March 2015)|
|Traded as||NYSE: AN
S&P 500 Component
|Headquarters||Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.|
AutoNation is the largest automotive retailer in the United States and is the leading provider of new and pre-owned vehicles. AutoNation owns and operates over 280 franchises throughout the United States. The current Chairman, CEO, and President is Mike Jackson, former CEO of Mercedes-Benz North America. The Chief Operations Officer is Bill Berman.
AutoNation operates over 280 franchises across the USA, and has approximately 24,500 employees. It sells 34 different manufacturer brands nationwide across 15 different states and outsells every other automotive retailer in the U.S. It is ranked #162 in the 2014 Fortune 500. The company has a significant internet presence, offering its entire inventory for online searching.
Total company revenue is as follows: 57% New vehicles 21% Retail used vehicles 15% Parts and service 4% Financing and insurance 1% other
"AutoNation" Coast to Coast
Prior to 2013 AutoNation maintained localized brands for operations in regional groups which carried the following names. In the Southeast United States - Maroone, Courtesy, AutoWay, and Mike Shad. In the Central and Midwest states - Team, Fox, Leesburg, Mullinax, Dobbs, Laurel, and GO. In Texas - Bankston and Champion... and in the West and Northwest - AppleWay, AutoWest, Desert and Power.
Beginning in 2013, and after an extensive rebranding marketing campaign, AutoNation’s domestic and import franchises and stores were marketed under the unified "AutoNation" brand name from coast to coast.
In 1981, Republic Industries was created, specializing in waste disposal. H. Wayne Huizenga became Chairman of the Board in 1995. Republic began its used auto sales initiative with the purchase of Auto Nation USA in 1997, followed by Car Choice Inc. Republic began opening AutoNation used megastores. CarMax brought a lawsuit against Republic for copyright and trademark infringement. Republic's sales for 1995 were $5.2 billion.
In 1996, Republic began purchasing new car dealerships and offering long-term contracts to owners who joined the automotive division management team. Some dealers began seeking out Republic to sell their dealerships because of the long-term contracts. In 1996, Republic built twelve AutoNation locations.
In 1997, Republic continued acquisitions in the car rental business with the purchase of National Car Rental, Spirit Rent-A-Car, Value Rent-A-Car, Snappy Car Rental, and EuroDollar Rent A Car. Huizenga had Republic start consolidating operations between new and used cars and its rental companies into one operation. Acquiring six Saturn dealerships in Arizona and Florida, Republic sold the dealerships to Saturn in 1997 because they did not generate enough sales despite being a successful brand. Maroone Automotive Group of Buffalo, NY and Florida was acquired in 1997 for $200 million in Republic Stock.
A 2-for-1 split in the company stock was completed in 1996.
In an attempt to expand the company's electronic security division, the company offered to purchase ADT but the acquisition was called off. In October 1997, Republic sold off its electronic security division after failing to expand it with the attempted-purchase of ADT.
Republic Industries offered in July 1998 an IPO of its original core waste disposal business as Republic Services. From this sale of 36% of Republic Services, Republic Industries netted $1.4 billion. While CarMax had received a $50 million jury award in its lawsuit, it was overturned during an appeal in 1998. Drivers' Mart, a competitor, was purchased.
The remaining 64% of Republic Services were spun off to Republic Industries shareholders in 1999. The company's first Chief Executive Officer (CEO) was Steve Berrard, who resigned from the company in July 1999. Mike Jackson, CEO, moved to spin off the car rental business as ANC Rental. AutoNation USA used car megastores, which lost $25 million the quarter before, were all closed down. Plans to brand all auto dealers as AutoNation are scrapped and a regional brand focus is instituted.
In January 2003, Jackson is named chairman of the board replacing Huizenga. On October 24, 2005, the AutoNation building in downtown Fort Lauderdale suffered significant damage due to Hurricane Wilma. The company has since transferred to another nearby building.
In 2006, Mike Jackson, CEO of AutoNation announced that his company would be reducing orders from General Motors, Ford and Chrysler in 2007. Jackson made the statement that the company will instead focus on selling BMW, Mercedes and Lexus vehicles due to anticipation of further market share loss by US automakers resulting in high dealer inventories.
In 2009, AutoNation announced the AutoNation Payment Protection program, promising that the dealership will buy back any car at market value, should the owner lose their job.
In 2011, AutoNation was the first auto retailer in the U.S. to sell a total of 8 Million vehicles.
In January 2013, AutoNation announced that it would completely replace localized brand names of its car retail operations with its own name. This re-branding across the United States was supported and approved by the major automotive manufacturers, including GM, Ford, Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota, Honda, VW and Hyundai. It involved a total of 210 franchises operating under previously assigned local group names.
In May 2013, AutoNation partnered with "IndyCar" Series Champion Ryan Hunter-Reay to support his "Racing for Cancer" charity. This charity serves as a key component of the AutoNation charity program. The charity was founded as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization following the 2009 passing of the founders mother due to colon cancer.
In August 2013, AutoNation announced the sale of its 9 Millionth vehicle. A record achievement for the industry. 
In January 2015, AutoNation announced that Mike Jackson will take an expanded role while Michael Maroone retired after over 15 years as President. Bill Berman is the new Chief Operating Officer as of February 4th 2015. 
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