AutoNation showing GM, Ford some love

Acquisition is the key word inside AutoNation these days. The nation's largest dealership group is gearing up to add stores this year, which is something CEO Mike Jackson and COO Mike Maroone told me would happen when I visited them in November.

Maroone told the J.D. Power International Automotive Roundtable audience on Friday that Audi, Hyundai and Volkswagen are high on AutoNation's wish list. "We will be very active buyers," Maroone said.

But imports aren't the only brands in favor. Good news for Ford and Chevrolet: The AutoNation bosses really like both brands. Maroone even used the word "love" when he described the position of both domestic brands. He said, "We believe they will be very profitable again." High praise, indeed.