When the Mike Manley era at AutoNation Inc. begins Nov. 1 following a two-decade growth story under Mike Jackson, company watchers expect the new industry veteran atop the largest U.S. dealership group will study the retailer before making strategic shifts.
Many analysts see the transition of power to Manley, a soft-spoken Brit and former Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO known for bolstering Jeep's product pipeline and expansion around the globe, as a move that will ensure stability for the auto retail giant that has had three CEOs in as many years.
"Mike Manley is a world-class, globally proven, day one-ready CEO," Jackson, AutoNation's outgoing chief, told Automotive News last week. "Here's the transition plan: Mike, here's the parking space. Boom. I pull out, he pulls in."