AutoNation Inc. CEO Michael Jackson says the consolidator's new licensed Internet sales site will be a "big" advantage in competing with the rising host of factory, bank-linked and independent websites.
The first licensees for AutoNation's website, who receive exclusive territories for a renewable two-year period, include John Bergstrom, Neenah, WI, owner of 18 dealerships; Don Flow, Winston-Salem, NC; Billy F.B. Wong, of DCH USA, New York City; Ed Snyder, of Checkered Motor Car Co., Virginia Beach, VA; Larry Denney and Tom Carpenter, who own three Nissan and three Saturn stores in Columbus, OH; and Jeff Wolfe, of Wolfe Automotive Group, Kansas City, MO.
Messrs. Bergstrom and Flow each own four Saturn dealerships in their home states, while Mr. Wolfe has two in his.
AutoNation and other consolidators have been prevented by Saturn Corp. from assuming ownership of Saturn dealerships in connection with purchase of dealership groups. The licensing arrangement widens AutoNation direct.com's geographic spread while also including Saturn dealers owned by the licensees.