AutoNation Inc., the largest retailer in the US, posted a 35% increase in new-vehicle sales for the month of September after selling 18,040 units. AutoNation credits this boost to domestic brand surge and an easy comparison against last year. In an interview with CNBC, AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson said that this was his career’s “easiest comparison.”
Domestic brand sales had gone up by 54% to 5,353, import sales increased by 34% to 9,558 vehicles, and premium luxury brand sales climbed by 14% to 3,129.
Jackson said that he has been “looking forward” to making the comparison with September 2009, which was affected by the “cash for clunkers” program.
For the third quarter, AutoNation had retail new-vehicle sales of 56,340, standing for a 3% rise over the third quarter of 2009. Chrysler Group brands led AutoNation’s September increase, with a 64% increase in sales.
In the interview, Jackson said that the new Jeep Grand Cherokee is an “absolute hit” and that the “resurgence of the domestics continues.”
In September, AutoNation’s pickup sales increased by 50%, which is believed to be due to businesses buying the replacements now after they had postponed making the purchases during the global economic crisis.
He also said that summer sales were boosted by the holiday promotions. [via autonews - sub. required]