AutoNation USA, the used-car chain owned by Republic Industries Inc., has begun experimenting with specialty stores selling specific categories of vehicles.
The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., chain chose truck-crazy Texas as the location for its first AutoNation USA Truck Center.
The store, which opened Monday, June 15, in north Houston, will sell only used pickups, sport-utilities, vans and minivans, said Michael Maroone, president of the Auto-Nation USA retail group of Republic In- dustries Inc., which is also based in Fort Lauderdale.
The 10-acre truck center was built on property originally designated by Republic as a Value Stop store, Republic's discontinued brand name for older, less expensive used vehicles.
Maroone said AutoNation USA is testing the concept and has no immediate plans to open others.
'Our research shows there's high growth in the truck business, great margins in the truck business,' said Maroone.
AutoNation USA research also shows many non-truck owners are considering buying a truck next time out.
'That used-truck buyer is not being served as well,' Maroone said.
The truck center is AutoNation USA's fourth store in the Houston area and its 28th used-vehicle megastore overall.
In addition to about 350 trucks for sale, the truck center will offer truck and van accessories.
The AutoNation USA Truck Center will use the same no-haggle pricing system as other AutoNation USA stores.