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AutoNation reports 5 pct May increase in new vehicle sales on strength in domestic, luxury

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NEW YORK — AutoNation Inc. said new auto sales rose 5 percent in May on strong results from domestic and high-priced luxury vehicles.

The increase is part of a broader boost for the industry, which saw overall sales rise 2 percent in May to more than 1.64 million cars and trucks, according to Autodata Corp. That marks the fastest pace of growth since July 2005, buoyed by Memorial Day promotions and strong demand for new SUVs.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based AutoNation said it sold 31,777 new vehicles in May. Domestic vehicle sales rose 6 percent to 9,878 and premium luxury vehicle sales rose 18 percent to 6,602 vehicles. Those segment results made up for a 1 percent decline in sales of imports to 15,297 sales for imports.

Sales at dealerships open at least a year rose 3 percent overall.

AutoNation owns and operates 293 new vehicle franchises, selling 35 brands across 15 states.

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