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AutoNation Elects Rick Burdick As Chairman; To Repurchase Up To Addl $1 Bln Of Stock

AutoNation Inc. (AN) said it elected Rick Burdick as Chairman of the Board. The change was made as part of the Board's succession plan and previously announced decision to separate the roles of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

Burdick has served as one of AutoNation's directors since May 1991 and as Lead Independent Director since December 2018. Effective as of February 15, 2021, Rick Burdick assumed the position of independent Chairman of the Board thereby succeeding Mike Jackson, AutoNation's Chief Executive Officer, as Chairman. Jackson will continue in his role as Chief Executive Officer and remain on the Board.

AutoNation said that its board authorized the repurchase of up to an additional $1 billion of the company's common stock. With the increased authorization, AutoNation has about $1.1 billion remaining board authorization for share repurchase. As of February 12, 2021, AutoNation had about 82 million shares outstanding.

The company plans to build over 100 AutoNation USA pre-owned vehicle stores, with over 50 completed by the end of 2025. The AutoNation USA store expansion will include extending AutoNation's coast to coast footprint into new markets.

AutoNation said it plans to open five new AutoNation USA stores in 2021 in Austin, Denver (2 stores), Phoenix, and San Antonio. The company plans to open an additional 10 new stores in 2022. AutoNation has set the long-term goal of retailing over 1 million combined new and used vehicle units per year.

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