AutoNation says new-vehicle retail sales gained 6% in December

AutoNation Inc., the nation’s largest auto retailer, said its U.S. new-vehicle retail sales rose 6 percent in December from the year-ago period, to 29,596 units. It was the highest number of units sales in the month of December since 2001.

Retail sales in AutoNation's luxury segment jumped 18 percent in December from a year earlier to 7,180 units, the company said in a statement today.

Domestic and import brands also posted modest gains in December compared with the same month a year ago. Domestic-brand retail sales rose 2 percent to 8,578. Import-brand retail sales increased 3 percent to 13,838, AutoNation said.

Full year sales of luxury brands jumped 16 percent in 2013 from the previous year to 58,538 units. Domestic brands saw a 13 percent increase from 2012 to 92,032 units. Import-brand sales increased 7 percent in the past year to 145,842 vehicles.

AutoNation, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., ranks No. 1 on Automotive News’ list of the top 125 U.S. dealership groups in the United States, with retail sales of 267,810 new vehicles in 2012.

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