Daily Edition: Feb. 10, 2006 Page 3

February 10, 2006

AutoNation, Lithia Post 2005 Revenue, Profit Gains

AutoNation, Inc. and Lithia Motors weathered severe storms and sales downturns at General Motors and Ford in the fourth quarter, each publicly-owned dealership group recording revenues increases for the full year despite the challenging climate. Lithia's 94 western and southwestern dealers boosted total revenues for 2005 by ten percent to a record $2.94 billion. The Medford, Ore.-based Lithia, whose top vehicle supplier is Chrysler Group, reported that net income for the year advanced to $49.8 million despite a dip in the fourth quarter.  Chairman and CEO Sid DeBoer attributed the late-year decline to a "pullback" of new-vehicle sales caused by the "employee price" strategy used by the American brands in the summer months.

Top megadealer AutoNation was hit hard in the final period by Hurricane Wilma, which damaged nearly all the Fort Lauderdale-based group's Florida dealerships. Chairman and CEO Mike Jackson said that the fourth-quarter sales declined at AutoNation to $4.485 billion and net income to $75.3 million from $4.751 billion and $161.8 million a year earlier. "All our Florida stores are back in operation now," said president and COO Mike Maroone in a media/analyst conference call.

For the full year, AutoNation's 280 dealerships tallied $19,253 billion in revenues, up one percent from the prior year. Net income reached $496.5 million, up from $433.6 million in 2004. Jackson called on automakers to adopt "transaction prices" as their listed suggested retail prices, which would be markedly lower than the prices shown now on the Monroney labels. "If we can deal with market prices, we can accept the profit-margin trims the Detroit automakers have imposed," Jackson said. -Mac Gordon


FROM THE SOURCE headlines from the latest press releases


A new survey reveals that more than 7 out of 10 consumers do not check their personal credit score (76 percent) or compare financing options from dealers (71 percent) and credit unions / banks (72 percent) before heading to the showroom. This is despite the fact that almost 6 out of 10 (57 percent) of those polled say they do conduct research on particular car or truck models before going to the dealer.

The Jeep(R) brand is celebrating 65 years of go anywhere/do anything capability with special edition models of the 2006 Jeep Commander, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Liberty and Jeep Wrangler, all equipped with popular and unique features. These limited production vehicles will be on display during press and public days at the 2006 Chicago Auto Show, February 8-19 at

McCormick Place
. The Jeep 65th Anniversary Edition vehicles will be offered in Light Khaki, Dark Khaki, Bright Silver, Black, and a new color, Jeep Green. The MSRP of the Jeep Commander 65th Anniversary Edition is $28,880 for the 4x2 version and $30,880 for the 4x4 version. The 3.7-liter V-6 engine is standard; the 4.7-liter V-8 is optional.


Name Symbol Last Change
Autobytel, Inc. ABTL 4.96 -0.02 (-0.40%)
Autoliv Inc. ALV 51.00 +2.63 (+5.44%)
AutoNation Inc. AN 21.36 -0.74 (-3.35%)
ArvinMeritor Inc. ARM 16.10 -0.28 (-1.71%)
American Axle & Mfr. Holdings Inc. AXL 16.73 -0.04 (-0.24%)
Ballard Power Systems Inc. BLDP 5.37 -0.02 (-0.37%)
BorgWarner Inc. BWA 53.80 -0.55 (-1.01%)
Cummins Inc. CMI 99.71 +0.01 (+0.01%)
Dana Corporation DCN 4.22 -0.09 (-2.09%)
DaimlerChrysler AG (ADR) DCX 57.14 +0.37 (+0.65%)
Dura Automotive Systems DRRA 2.68 +0.39 (+17.03%)
Eaton Corporation ETN 66.37 -0.34 (-0.51%)
Ford Motor Company F 8.36 +0.13 (+1.58%)
General Motors Corporation GM 22.14 +0.15 (+0.68%)
Gentex Corporation GNTX 16.96 -0.30 (-1.74%)
Goodyear Tire & Rubber GT 14.70 -0.12 (-0.81%)
Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (ADR) HMC 28.78 -0.08 (-0.28%)
Johnson Controls Inc. JCI 67.25 +0.22 (+0.33%)
Lear Corporation LEA 23.06 -0.04 (-0.17%)
Magna International Inc. MGA 72.14 +0.14 (+0.19%)
Motorola Inc. MOT 21.61 -0.08 (-0.37%)
Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. (ADR) NSANY 22.09 -0.06 (-0.27%)
Sonic Automotive Inc. SAH 24.00 +0.06 (+0.25%)
Siemens AG SI 90.46 +0.92 (+1.03%)
Sirius Satellite Radio SIRI 5.80 -0.18 (-3.01%)
Toyota Motor Corporation (ADR) TM 102.51 -1.39 (-1.34%)
TRW Automotive Holdings TRW 25.76 -0.01 (-0.04%)
Tower Automotive Inc. TWRAQ.PK 0.075 0.00 (0.00%)
United Auto Group Inc. UAG 38.70 -0.30 (-0.77%)
Visteon Corporation VC 4.84 +0.22 (+4.76%)
XM Satellite Radio Hold. XMSR 25.78 +1.17 (+4.75%)
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