Jackson on CNBC: "Imagine car sales in the month of August are down 10 percent and truck sales are up 10 percent."
AutoNation’s U.S. new-vehicle retail sales fell by 5 percent from a year prior to 31,032 vehicles in August, a decline driven largely by a drop in import sales and the Labor Day weekend falling completely in September this year.
New import-brand sales for the nation’s largest new-vehicle retailer dropped 14 percent to 14,641 units in August compared with last year, the company said in a statement today. That’s compared with a 2 percent increase in domestic-brand sales to 10,239 vehicles and an 8 percent uptick in luxury vehicle sales to 6,152 units. Same-store sales were down 7 percent from a year earlier.
AutoNation’s performance lagged behind the industry’s August sales figures, which declined by 0.6 percent.
Despite some “quirky” numbers due to Labor Day weekend falling in September and fewer selling days, AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson said August was “another good month” for the company thanks in large part to truck sales.
"Imagine car sales in the month of August are down 10 percent and truck sales are up 10 percent,” Jackson said this morning on CNBC. “It's just unbelievable. The truck plants are running at absolute capacity."
When adjusting for two fewer selling days compared with last year, new sales rose 1 percent for the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based retailer. That’s compared with a calendar-adjusted industrywide 3.8 percent increase.
Jackson said he sees industry sales remaining healthy until “inflation rears its head” at some point in the future. In the meantime, he said, the American economy remains fundamentally strong.
Consumers “could [sic] care less about what’s going on in China,” Jackson said.
AutoNation ranks No. 1 on Automotive News’ list of the top 150 dealership groups in the United States, with new-vehicle retail sales of about 318,000 units in 2014.