For the first time, AutoNation Inc., formerly Republic Industries Inc., is opening a new-car dealership in one of its existing AutoNation USA used-car superstores.
AutoNation Nissan in Perrine, Fla., was to have opened Saturday, April 24, selling new Nissans and a variety of used vehicles, said AutoNation spokesman Oscar Suris.
AutoNation Inc. acquired the franchise and inventory of the former South Motors Nissan on Monday, April 19. South Motors Nissan was located less than a mile south of the AutoNation Nissan location. The South Motors site will be closed.
Suris said the store will be among the largest Nissan stores in the country, but he declined to give sales numbers. The selling price was not disclosed.
Said Nissan spokesman Gerry Tschopp: 'We expect that Auto-Nation will do its best to promote our brand and sell our product.'
During the week of April 12, the staff of the Nissan store was trained in AutoNation's one-price, low-pressure selling culture; last week the AutoNation staff went through Nissan's sales and service training.
In February, the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., dealership chain said it would boost its underperforming Auto-Nation USA used-car chain by moving new-car franchises into an undetermined number of used-car stores.
AutoNation is negotiating with Ford Motor Co. to move Seminole Ford in Sanford, Fla., to an existing AutoNation USA superstore, also in Sanford.
Before giving its approval, Ford said it wants to make sure the converted dealership will be a Ford dealership and not an AutoNation USA store that happens to sell new vehicles.
Suris said AutoNation is still in discussion with Ford.