) recorded an outstanding performance in new vehicle sales in
August. Sales in the month rose 28% year over year to 23,213
vehicles. The meteoric rise was attributable to higher demand for
both imported and domestic vehicles.
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Sales in the Domestic segment went up 20% to 6,961 vehicles. The
segment comprises retail automotive franchises that sell vehicles
Ford Motor Co.
General Motors Company
) and Chrysler.
Sales in the Import segment escalated 42% to 12,530 vehicles. The
segment covers retail automotive franchises that sell vehicles
Toyota Motor Corp.
Honda Motor Co.
Nissan Motor Co.
). Sales of Toyota and Honda branded vehicles declined
significantly in 2011 due to the fall of U.S. inventory resulting
from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
Sales in the Premium Luxury segment increased 6% to 3,722 vehicles
during the month. The segment consists of retail automotive
franchises selling vehicles manufactured by
) Mercedes Benz, BMW and Lexus.
In addition, August 2012 had an advantage over the corresponding
month last year with 27 selling days compared with 26 selling days
a year ago. With this, on daily selling rate basis, the company's
retail new vehicle unit sales improved 23% in August this year.
Auto sales in the U.S., in August 2012, improved 19.9% to 1.29
million vehicles, thus recording the highest monthly figure for the
month of August since 2007. Seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR)
went up 16% to 14.52 million vehicles, according to Autodata Corp.
The major factors behind this remarkable improvement are easier
credit terms and rising demand.
Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, AutoNation is the
largest automotive retailer in U.S. The dramatic recovery of auto
sales brought about by the improved customer confidence and
introduction of new products will eventually boost the company's
performance. In addition, revamped models of Civic and Accord as
well as stabilization of inventory are expected to help the company
to outperform in the U.S. light vehicle market.
Currently, AutoNation retains a Zacks #1 Rank, which translates
into a short-term (1 to 3 months) Strong Buy rating. We have a
long-term (more than 6 months) Outperform recommendation on the