September 1993: CarMax, a subsidiary of Circuit City Stores Inc., opens its first used-car superstore in Richmond, Va.
January 1996: AutoNation USA breaks ground on its first used-car superstore in Coconut Creek, Fla.
February 1996: Driver's Mart, backed by a group of successful dealers, announces plans to launch a national chain. On Feb. 3, another aspiring chain named CarChoice opens its first store in a Dallas suburb.
April 1996: CarMax begins selling new Chrysler Corp. vehicles at its Norcross, Ga., store. The pilot franchise agreement moves CarMax into new-car sales for the first time and angers dealers. Ford officials say they will not allow big, public companies to become franchisees.
August 1996: Republic Industries makes final the acquisition of CarChoice for stock valued at $95 million.
October 1996: AutoNation USA opens its first used-car superstore.
December 1996: AutoNation begins purchasing new-car franchises. Within three months, it is the largest dealership group in the nation.
1997: A year of growth: AutoNation USA expands from one store to 23 in a 12-month span. CarMax expands from 5 stores to 16 in the same period. Driver's Mart expands from one pilot store to 11.
January 1997: Republic Industries Inc. shareholders approve the purchase of AutoNation Inc., making it a publicly held company.
April 1998: Republic Industries Inc., the parent company of AutoNation USA purchases Driver's Mart for $40 million. Eight of the 10 Driver's Mart stores are converted to AutoNation USA outlets.
July 1999: AutoNation Inc. becomes an official sponsor of Super Bowl XXXIV.
1999: CarMax scales back its business plan by cutting overhead at 28 stores and postponing plans to enter the Los Angeles market until 2000. It also announces plans to add more new-car franchises to supplement its used-car business.
February 1999: Republic Industries Inc. announces it will begin absorbing some of its AutoNation USA superstores into its new-car franchises.
December 1999: AutoNation USA exits the used-car superstore business. At its height, the chain claimed 45 superstores. CarMax becomes the lone giant with 32 used-car superstores.