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AutoNation's August sales rise 7 percent

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) -- AutoNation said Thursday that its new vehicle sales rose 7 percent last month, as the auto dealership chain sold 32,660 vehicles.

The largest part of that, domestic vehicle sales, climbed 8 percent to top 10,000 for the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, company. Sales of imports rose 5 percent to nearly 17,000 compared to August, 2013, and premium luxury vehicles jumped 11 percent to 5,676.

AutoNation Inc.'s sales from established stores rose 5 percent compared to August 2013. Sales at locations open at least a year are considered an important measurement of a retailer's performance. They exclude results from stores that opened or closed within the last year.

The automotive retailer owns and operates 273 new vehicle franchises, which sell 33 brands across 15 states.

Shares of AutoNation closed at $53.77 on Wednesday and have climbed 8.2 percent so far this year. That matches the advance of the Standard & Poor's 500 index over the same span.

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