General Motors Assembly Line

General Motors Assembly Line (Reuters)

AutoNation Generates 45% Jump in May Sale; Shares Climb 6%

By Features FOXBusiness

AutoNation (AN) revealed a 45% leap in May retail new vehicle sales on Monday, sparking a 6% leap in shares of the largest U.S. auto retailer.

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Ft. Lauderdale-based AutoNation generated a 21% rise in domestic retail new vehicle sales, while imports surged 78%. Premium luxury retail new vehicle sales increased 23% last month.

The company said its overall retail new vehicle sales jumped 45% year-over-year to 23,763 units.

Shares of AutoNation rallied 5.71% to $37 ahead of Monday’s opening bell on the news, putting them on pace to erase some of their 2012 decline of about 5%.

Despite the upbeat AutoNation numbers, last week large auto makers like General Motors (GM) and Chrysler disclosed weaker-than-expected U.S. sales for May. Collectively, the industry’s sales rate finished at 13.8 million units, missing estimates for 14.5 million.