AutoNation's U.S. new-vehicle retail sales rise 4% in February

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AutoNation Inc., the nation's largest auto retailer, said today its U.S. new-vehicle retail sales rose 4 percent in February from a year earlier to 21,987 units. It was the dealership group's top-selling February since 2007.

Retail sales in AutoNation's luxury segment jumped 7 percent in February from a year earlier to 4,336, the company said in a statement.

AutoNation's domestic and import brands also posted modest gains in February from the same month a year ago. Domestic-brand retail sales rose 3 percent to 6,829. Import-brand retail sales increased 4 percent to 10,822, AutoNation said.

Same-store sales rose 2 percent in February from the year earlier to 21,560.

Industrywide, U.S. light-vehicle sales were flat in February at 1.192 million units as cold weather and record snowfall across large parts of the country stifled showroom traffic, particularly in the first half of the month.

Separately, AutoNation named Cheryl Scully executive vice president and CFO, effective Monday, March 3. She had been interim CFO since Jan. 7, when former CFO Mike Short left the company citing personal reasons.

Scully, 41, joined AutoNation in 2009 as vice president and treasurer. In 2010, she assumed responsibility for the company's investor relations department.

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

You can reach Sean Gagnier at sgagnier@crain.com.


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