AN records $1 billion in online sales

Jim Whitehead (
Mon, 27 Dec 1999 17:28:22 -0800

AN was down 1/8 today, to 8 13/16, on the news.

Internet Christmas Includes Cars; AutoNation Hits $1 Billion Sales Mark

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Dec. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Books and CDs may come in
packages small enough to fit under the Christmas tree, but Internet shoppers
are ordering other, larger items this holiday season-like cars!
AutoNation, Inc. (NYSE: AN), America's largest automotive retailer,
announced that it has sold more than $1 billion worth of vehicles via the
Internet over the last 12 months. This makes AutoNation the largest
retailer of vehicles, as measured by revenue, placing the Company on a par
with for the title of largest Internet retailer. (In a recent
survey, the National Retail Federation said had 1998 Internet
revenue of $1.1 billion.)
AutoNation crossed the $1 billion mark at 5:31 p.m. last night when Fred
Goldman of Mundelein, Illinois took ownership of his 2000 Ford Expedition
the Company's Woodfield Ford dealership in Schaumburg, Illinois.
Led by its website -- the Internet's largest
dealership -- and in combination with websites at many of its individual
dealerships, AutoNation has sold nearly 44,000 new and used vehicles via the
Internet so far this year, about ten times more than it sold via the
in 1998. Based on total revenue, AutoNation's $1 billion in Internet
sales in 1999 ranks the Company first among all other online competitors in
the automotive category. Most other automotive sites are middlemen,
shoppers to dealers who pay these online companies for the leads. is able to put shoppers in direct contact with
dealers, who publish prices online and sell vehicles without haggling.
"Like most other retailers, AutoNation jumped into the world of e-Commerce
uncertain of what it would find, but certain that the move had to be made.
After our first full year of selling vehicles via the Internet, we're
to report we have found an enthusiastic customer base that actually prefers
buying and financing automobiles via the web," said AutoNation Chief
Officer Mike Jackson.
Mr. Jackson said he expects AutoNation's Internet sales to reach
$1.5 billion in 2000.
Through its web site, AutoNation currently offers
online inventory of more than 90,000 new and used vehicles, all priced
to sell at low, no-haggle prices. AutoNation's Internet customers can
research prices, compare features and accessories, secure financing, arrange
test drive and select a vehicle for purchase, all online. The Company plans
to offer online service scheduling beginning next year. So far this year,
Company's websites are experiencing more than one million homepage visits
month. AutoNation is currently selling vehicles via the Internet at a pace
more than 5,000 units per month.
AutoNation, Inc. is the world's largest automotive retailer, with 409
franchises in 19 states and more than 350 websites.