Fort Lauderdale-based AutoNation, the country's largest vehicle retailer, reported a 38 percent jump in sales of new cars and trucks in June compared to a year ago.
That's faster growth than the 22 percent gain in retail sales of new vehicles nationwide for the month, according to researcher Auto Data.
AutoNation Chief Executive Mike Jackson calls auto sales "a bright spot in the U.S. economic recovery," spurred partly by pent-up demand from the recession and by new fuel-efficient models.
AutoNation said it sold 22,862 new vehicles in June, with sales in California up 55 percent and in Florida up 33 percent from a year ago.
That total includes 11,579 new vehicles sold from its import division, up 56 percent from June last year. Sales of Toyotas rose 68 percent and Lexus 79 percent from last June, reflecting a rebound from last year's shortages prompted by factory cutbacks from Japan's earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.
For the April through June quarter, AutoNation said it sold 67,159 new vehicles, up 31 percent from last year. That includes 34,237 cars and trucks from its import division, up 47 percent from a year ago.
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