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WSJ: Autonation CEO Says GM To Get Sales Boost From Americredit

By Neal E. Boudette Of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL The chief executive of AutoNation Inc. (AN) said on Thursday he expects General Motors Co. (GM) to get a lift in U.S. vehicle sales as a result of the auto maker's acquisition of lending company AmeriCredit. "It will absolutely boost their [new-vehicle] sales," CEO Michael J. Jackson said in an interview. AutoNation is the country's largest chain of auto dealerships and operates 51 stores selling GM vehicles. "It gives me a lot of confidence around GM." The AmeriCredit deal, he added, "is going to make at least a 10% to 15% difference in [GM sales] volume. GM is losing customers even today because of lack of credit among sub-prime customers." (This story and related background material will be available on The Wall Street Journal Web site, WSJ.com.) Earlier on Thursday, AutoNation reported net income up 29% to $47.2 million, while earnings-per-share jumped 38% to 21 cents a share. The Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., company purchased 20.9 million of its own shares during the second quarter, and allocated $250 million for additional share purchases.

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