The Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based largest automotive retailer
) recorded 15% year-over-year increase in sales to 27,958
vehicles in December 2012. The growth was mainly attributable to
strong sales of imported vehicles.
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Sales in the Domestic segment went up 11% to 8,415 vehicles. The
segment comprises retail automotive franchises that sell vehicles
Ford Motor Co.
General Motors Company
) and Chrysler.
Sales in the Import segment escalated 18% to 13,450 vehicles. The
segment covers retail automotive franchises that sell vehicles
Toyota Motor Corp.
Honda Motor Co.
Nissan Motor Co.
Sales in the Premium Luxury segment increased 14% to 6,093
vehicles during the month. The segment consists of retail
automotive franchises selling vehicles manufactured by
) Mercedes Benz, BMW and Lexus.
On daily selling rate basis, the company's retail new vehicle
unit sales improved 19% in December 2012. December 2012 had 26
selling days compared with 27 selling days a year ago.
Last year, AutoNation recorded a 13% increase in new vehicle
sales to 20,958 units in October and 21% growth in sales to
22,571 units in November. The company registered nearly 16%
increase in new vehicle sales in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Domestic segment sales improved 10%, Import segment sales jumped
20% and Premium Luxury segment sales climbed 17% in the quarter.
AutoNation witnessed a 20% improvement in new vehicle sales in
the full year 2012. Domestic segment sales went up 14%, Import
segment sales jumped 27% and Premium Luxury segment sales climbed
13% in the year.
Auto sales in the U.S. grew 9% to 1.4 million vehicles in
December last year and 13.4% to 14.5 million vehicles in the full
year. Improving consumer confidence, falling unemployment rate
and improvement in home sales and prices were mainly responsible
for the remarkable improvement in sales.
Sales were also boosted by strong pent-up demand owing to the
aging vehicles (average age of a car reached 11 years in the
U.S.) and replacement needs for damaged vehicles from Hurricane
Sandy. Banks also supported the sales growth by providing greater
access to loans with lower interest rates.
Recently, AutoNation completed the previously announced
acquisitions of Boardwalk Audi, Boardwalk Porsche, Boardwalk
Volkswagen, McKinney Volkswagen, Park Cities Volkswagen, and
Spring Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram. With this, the company will own
and operate 50 franchises in Texas. Currently, it retains a Zacks
Rank #2 (Buy).