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AutoNation Realizes Double-Digit Growth in 1Q

April 26, 2011

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — AutoNation Inc. today reported 2011 first quarter net income from continuing operations of $70 million, an increase compared to net income from continuing operations of $59 million for the year-ago period.

First quarter revenue totaled $3.3 billion, compared to $2.8 billion in the year-ago period, an increase of 17 percent, driven primarily by a 19 percent increase in new- and used-vehicle revenue. AutoNation's new-vehicle unit sales increased 20 percent on a same store basis and 23 percent overall which were in line with the industry according to CNW research data.

AutoNation's 2011 first quarter retail used-vehicle revenue increased 13 percent. Parts and service revenue increased 6 percent, and finance and insurance revenue increased 16 percent compared to the first quarter 2010.

In the first quarter of 2011, gross profit per new vehicle retailed benefited by $82 from the recognition of certain performance-based manufacturer incentives, which were related to premium luxury vehicles previously sold. Gross profit and operating income in the first quarter of 2011 were favorably impacted by $4.6 million related to these incentives.

Mike Jackson, chairman and chief executive officer, said, "We delivered solid double-digit growth in the first quarter, which was driven by both new and used vehicle unit sales and revenue."

Commenting on the impact of the Japan earthquake on the full-year industry outlook, Jackson said, "While the underlying recovery in consumer demand for autos remains on track in the United States, due to Japanese supply constraints throughout the remainder of 2011, we are revising our planning assumption for 2011 full-year U.S. industry new-vehicle sales downward from 12.8 million units to mid-12 million units. Based on current information, we see significant reductions in vehicle shipments from Japanese manufacturers through year-end, with the resumption of normal shipment levels in early 2012."

Jackson added, "Our diversified business model is resilient and adaptable. We are confident we can manage through the challenges presented by Japanese product constraints. We also continue to be optimistic about the long-term recovery for the U.S. auto market."

AutoNation has three operating segments: domestic, import and premium luxury. The domestic segment is comprised of stores that sell vehicles manufactured by General Motors, Ford and Chrysler; the import segment is comprised of stores that sell vehicles manufactured primarily by Toyota, Honda and Nissan; and the premium luxury segment is comprised of stores that sell vehicles manufactured primarily by Mercedes, BMW and Lexus. Segment results for the first quarter were as follows:

Domestic – Domestic segment income* was $43 million compared to year-ago segment income of $32 million. First quarter domestic retail new-vehicle unit sales increased 30 percent.

Import – Import segment income* was $58 million compared to year-ago segment income of $50 million. First quarter import retail new-vehicle unit sales increased 24 percent.

Premium Luxury – Premium Luxury segment income* was $55 million compared to year-ago segment income of $47 million. First quarter premium luxury retail new-vehicle unit sales increased 6 percent.

*Segment income is defined as operating income less floorplan interest expense.

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