Courtesy Pontiac-Buick-GMC, an AutoNation Inc. dealership in Longwood, Fla., shut its doors Thursday, Sept. 25 for good. The dealership is part of the AutoNation Group, the largest auto retailer in the country. But company spokesman Marc Cannon stated that the shutdown had nothing to do with instability in the financial markets. Instead, he said, the closing was part of AutoNation’s long-term strategy to reduce the number of dealerships in saturated markets.
"It was the right time to move on closing the dealership," Cannon said. "As the market changes, AutoNation must be willing to adjust and shift its portfolio." Cannon said AutoNation believes that getting the dealership numbers right keeps the company "firmly in the black."
AutoNation ranks number one on the list of the top 125 U.S. dealership groups, with new vehicle sales of 328,963 in 2007. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based company has a concentration of dealerships in Florida and California.