AutoNation company

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AutoNation, Inc.
Traded asNYSEAN
S&P 400 Component
IndustryCar dealership
Founded1996; 24 years ago (1996)
FounderH. Wayne Huizenga
Key people
Cheryl Miller, CEO
Steve Kwak, President
Marc Cannon, CMO and Executive Vice President
Revenue US$ 21.4 Billion (2018)[1]
Decrease US$ 21.3 billion (2019)[2]
US$ 777.9 million (2018)[1]
Increase US$ 823.6 million (2019)[2]
US$ 396.0 million (2018)[1]
Increase US$ 450.6 million (2019)[2]
Total assets US$ 10,665.1 million (2018)[1]
Increase US$ 11,115.1 million (2019)[2]
Number of employees

AutoNation is an American automotive retailer, which provides new and pre-owned vehicles and associated services in the United States.[3] The company was founded by Wayne Huizenga in 1996, and has more than 360 retail outlets.[4] Based in Fort Lauderdale Florida, the company's current chief executive officer is Cheryl Miller, the previous chief financial officer of the company, who replaced Carl Liebert III[5] on July 23, 2019.



Before its acquisition by Republic Industries in 1997, but under the early division brand name "AutoNation", the company was a growing network of used automobile superstores. In 1995, H. Wayne Huizenga of Republic Industries became chairman of the board of directors[6] and through Republic's ownership of AutoNation, sought to expand its business into used auto sales throughout the United States.[7][8] CarMax brought a lawsuit against Republic for copyright and trademark infringement. Republic's sales for 1995 were $5.2 billion.[6]

In 1996, Republic Industries began purchasing new car dealerships and offering long-term contracts to owners who joined the newly created automotive division of Republic Industries, which led to the company operating twelve retail locations under the "AutoNation" brand.[6] Later that year, Alamo Rent A Car was also purchased by Republic Industries.[8] and a A 2-for-1 stock split in Republic stock was also completed.

In 1997, Republic continued its acquisitions in the car rental business with the purchase of National Car Rental, Spirit Rent-A-Car, Value Rent-A-Car, Snappy Car Rental, and EuroDollar Rent A Car. Huizenga had Republic start consolidating operations between new and used cars and its rental companies into one operation. Acquiring six Saturn dealerships in Arizona and Florida, Republic sold the dealerships to Saturn in 1997 because they did not generate enough sales, despite being a successful brand.[6] Maroone Automotive Group of Buffalo, NY and Florida was acquired in 1997 for $200 million in Republic Stock.[7]

In an attempt to expand the company's electronic security division, the company offered to purchase ADT but the acquisition fizzled,[6] and in October 1997, Republic sold off its electronic security division.

Republic Industries offered in July 1998 an initial public offering of its original core waste disposal business as Republic Services and it was from this sale of 36% of Republic Services stock, the company netted $1.4 billion to be used to fund the new company being formed. As a result of this sale, the company changed its name to AutoNation to highlight its focus on the automobile industry. While CarMax had received a $50 million jury award in its lawsuit, it was overturned on appeal in 1998.[6] Drivers' Mart, a competitor, was purchased.[9] The remaining 64% of Republic Services was divested to Republic Industries shareholders in 1999.[6] The company's first chief executive officer (CEO), Steve Berrard, eventually resigned from the company in July 1999.[10]

Mike Jackson, the newly hired CEO, previously from Mercedes Benz USA, moved to spin off the car rental business as "ANC Rental" and close all newly built "AutoNation USA" used car megastores, because of their financial losses being generated at a rate of $25 million per quarter. Plans to brand all automotive retail stores at the time as "AutoNation stores" were cancelled for a rebranding a more recognizable 'regional brand' focus was instituted.[7]

In January 2003, Jackson was named chairman of the board, replacing Huizenga.[7] On October 24, 2005, the AutoNation building in downtown Fort Lauderdale suffered significant damage due to Hurricane Wilma.[11] The company has since transferred to another nearby building.

In 2006, Mike Jackson, CEO of AutoNation announced that his company would be reducing orders from the 3 major vehicle manufacturers as General Motors, Ford and Chrysler in 2007 and altered the company's purchase pattern to include purchasing more imported vehicles as BMW, Mercedes and Lexus, due to anticipated view of further market share losses by US automakers. resulting in high dealer[12]


In 2009, during the great recession, AutoNation announced a newly formed AutoNation Payment Protection program, promising that the dealership will buy back any car at market value, should the owner lose their job.[13] By 2011, AutoNation was the first auto retailer in the U.S. to sell a total of 8 million vehicles.[14]

In January 2013, AutoNation announced that it would replace localized brand names of its car retail operations with its own name. This re-branding across the US was supported and approved by the major automotive manufacturers, including GM, Ford, Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota, Honda, VW and Hyundai. It involved a total of 210 franchises operating under previously assigned local group names.[15] In May 2013, AutoNation partnered with Indy Car Series Champion Ryan-Hunter Reay to support his "Racing for Cancer" charity. This charity served as a key component of the AutoNation cancer charity program which was founded as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. In August 2013, AutoNation announced the sale of its 9 millionth vehicle which was a record achievement for the industry.[16]

In January 2015, AutoNation announced that CEO Mike Jackson would take an expanded role upon President Michael Maroone's retirement after 15 years of service in that position. Mr. Bill Berman became the new chief operating officer on February 4, 2015.[17] In June 2015, AutoNation retailed its 10 millionth vehicle.[18] That year, Cascade Investments, the private investment vehicle for Bill Gates, reported taking a 16% stake in AutoNation Stock trading on the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange.[19]

On April 11, 2017, USA Today wrote that AutoNation's CEO Mike Jackson questioned the market value of Tesla, the maker of electric cars, by saying that Tesla is "either one of the great Ponzi schemes of all time or it’s gonna work out."[20] The previous day, Tesla passed General Motors as the most valuable American automotive manufacturer, measured by its market capitalization. Jackson also said, "Clearly General Motors is undervalued and Tesla is overvalued. Anybody can see that."[20] In June 2017, AutoNation sold a total of 11 million vehicles. On November 2, 2017, AutoNation announced that Waymo, a developer of self-driving technology, enlisted AutoNation to maintain and repair their driverless vehicles fleet.[21]

On February 23, 2019, Carl Liebert III was named chief executive officer, president, and director by the current chairman of the board of directors Mr. Mike Jackson.[22] Mr. Carl Clinton Liebert served as chief operating officer of United Services Automobile Association (“USAA”) since 2014 and concurrently served vice chairman of USAA Federal Savings Bank.[23]On July 22, 2019, Cheryl Miller, the chief financial officer of AutoNation, was named CEO and president of the company.[24]

In March of 2020, The Chief Executive Officer and President Cheryl Miller requested a leave of absence from her positions for "health reasons. This was granted by the AutoNation Board of Directors.

During the coronavirus pandemic, AutoNation faced criticism after reports in The Washington Post revealed that the company applied for at least $266 Million in SBA Paycheck Protection Program loan under the CARES Act in order to allow at least 7,000 employees who had been furloughed to return to work and received up to $95 Million in funds for its over 300 dealerships located throughout the United States.[25] SBA Paycheck Protection Program loans were originated by commercial banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions; according to AutoNation's Form 8-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 26, the company's "administrative agent" and lender as of the filing date was JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.[26] On April 24, AutoNation announced that it would be returning $77 Million to J.P Morgan.[27]

In April of 2020 the position of Chief Executive Officer was temporarily reassigned to Executive Chairman Mike Jackson and the position of President to Jim Bender as an advancement.[28]

On July 14, 2020 AutoNation Inc. announced that the Board of Directors reached a new 2 year contract agreement with Mr. Mike Jackson to return as the Chief Executive Officer position vacated by Ms. Miller. [29][30]

August 19, 2020 Steven Kwak was named President of AutoNation

Revenue by product category

Revenue by Product Category for 2001[31]
59.5% New vehicles
19.4% Used vehicles
12.2% Parts and service
2.4% Financing and insurance
6.5% Other


  1. ^ a b c d "AUTONATION, INC. 2018 Annual Report Form (10-K)" (XBRL). United States Securities and Exchange Commission. February 11, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d "AUTONATION, INC. 2019 Annual Report Form (10-K)" (XBRL). United States Securities and Exchange Commission. February 15, 2020.
  3. ^ White, Joseph B., "One Billion Cars", The Wall Street Journal, pp. R1, April 17, 2006.
  4. ^ Bradsher, Keith, "Huizenga Wants to Dominate the Market", The New York Times, pp. D1, March 6, 1997.
  5. ^ Pounds, Marcia Heroux. "AutoNation names Carl Liebert as new CEO".
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "Republic Industries, Inc. Company History". Company Profiles. Retrieved 2009-11-03.
  7. ^ a b c d Broder-Singer, Rochelle (March 2003). "Over drive: the company set out to revolutionize the new automotive retailing industry by purchasing dealerships and operating them as a national brand. Instead, the industry changed AutoNation and in the end, it two automotive executives CEO/Chairman Mike Jackson and President/COO Mike Maroone to expand and create the largest automotive dealership group in America (Cover Story)". South Florida CEO. Gale Group. pp. 1–8. Archived from the original on 2014-06-11. Retrieved 2013-07-17.
  8. ^ a b Bagli, Charles V. (November 8, 1996). "In Alamo Deal, Republic Puts More Money On Used Cars". The New York Times. New York, NY: New York Times Company. p. D1. Retrieved 2009-11-04.
  9. ^ Evarts, Eric C. (2002-03-18). "Dealers stay in driver's seat". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2009-11-04.
  10. ^ "Autonation Chief Executive Agrees to Step Down". The New York Times. Bloomberg News. July 1, 1999.
  11. ^ Hoag, Christina, and Danner, Patrick (October 27, 2005). "Creatively coping with chaos: South Florida's hurricane-worn companies are making do to keep going despite a lack of offices". The Miami Herald. Archived from the original on February 18, 2007.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  12. ^ Mann, Joseph. "Balancing Inventory". Sun Sentinel.
  13. ^ Lago, Carlos. "AutoNation Unveils Payment Protection Program". WOT News. MotorTrend. Archived from the original on 2015-07-05.
  14. ^ Kernen, Joe. "AutoNation Sells 8 million vehicles". CNBC video news. NBC News.
  15. ^ Hemlock, Doreen, AutoNation to stamp dealerships with its brand name, Sun Sentinel, January 31st, 2013.
  16. ^ Brinkman, Paul (August 2, 2013). "AutoNation hits 9 million vehicle sales milestone". South Florida Business Journal.
  17. ^ Wilson, Amy (January 15, 2015). "AutoNation Mike Maroone to Retire". Automotive News.
  18. ^ Hemlock, Doreen (May 1, 2015). "AutoNation - 10 million sales". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 4 July 2015.
  19. ^ "Cascade Investments - Latest 13F Holdings". Fintel.
  20. ^ a b "AutoNation CEO: Tesla is a 'Ponzi scheme' or it'll 'work out'". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2017-04-20.
  21. ^ Boudette, Neal E. (2 November 2017). "Waymo Enlists AutoNation to Maintain Driverless Test Fleet" – via
  22. ^ Leibert, Carl. "Chief Executive Officer". AutoNation Names Carl Liebert New CEO. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  23. ^ Liebert, Carl (23 February 2019). "USAA". Bloomberg. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  24. ^ Cheryl, Miller. "AutoNation Names New CEO, Posts Strong Qtartly Profit". Reuters. Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  25. ^ O'Connell, Jonathan (24 April 2020). "AutoNation, a retailer worth billions, says it received nearly $80 million in SBA funds". The Washington Post. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  26. ^ "AutoNation, Inc. (AN) SEC Form 8-K Material Event for the period ending Thursday, March 26, 2020".
  27. ^ Shapardson, David (24 April 2020). "AutoNation returning $77 million in U.S. payroll assistance coronavirus relief loans". Reuters. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  28. ^ Bender, Jim. "President of AutoNation". PR News Wire. PR news Wire. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
  29. ^ Jackson, mike. "Chairman and Chief Executive Officer". Seeking Alpha. Seeking Alpha Consumer News. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
  30. ^ Naughton, Nora (2020-07-14). "AutoNation CEO Cheryl Miller Won't Return After Medical Leave". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2020-07-15.
  31. ^ "U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Filing". SEC Registration of Corporations. November 16, 2001.

Further reading

External links

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