AutoNation sees U.S. industry sales of 15.5 million in 2013
Jackson: “There was never a hesitation in the entire month. The month started strong and stayed strong.”
A stabilized housing market and strengthening economy will drive U.S. auto sales to the mid-15 million unit range in 2013, AutoNation Inc. CEO Mike Jackson said today.
Jackson, the head of the nation's largest retailer, made the prediction after reporting that AutoNation's new-vehicle sales rose 15 percent in December and 20 percent for all of 2012. That compared with the industry's 9 percent rise in December and 13 percent increase for the full year.
U.S. consumers never flinched despite the hand-wringing in Washington over the year-end fiscal cliff deadline, Jackson said Friday on CNBC.
"There was never a hesitation in the entire month," Jackson said. "The month started strong and stayed strong."
December experienced some industry lift because of replacement demand driven by Superstorm Sandy, Jackson said.
He expects the industry's momentum to continue this year, underpinned by continued replacement demand, attractive products and robust credit, plus stronger housing and energy markets.
"Ultimately, the industry will get back to 16 million units," Jackson said.
Total sales for AutoNation in December were 27,958 vehicles, up from 24,342 a year ago. For the full year, AutoNation sold 267,940 vehicles, up from 222,679 in 2011.
AutoNation said it experienced strong performances from import-brand, domestic-brand and luxury-brand stores. Import-brand sales rose 18 percent in December and 27 percent for the full year. Domestic-brand sales rose 11 percent in December and 14 percent for the full year. Luxury-brand sales rose 14 percent in December and 13 percent for the full year.
Texas and California were strong markets for the retailer. AutoNation's sales in California rose 24 percent for December and 25 percent for the year. Its sales in Texas rose 16 percent in December and 23 percent for the year.
You can reach Amy Wilson at email@example.com.