AutoNation earnings beat Wall Street estimates
AutoNation stock rose $2.19 or 4.9 percent to $46.94 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
"The American consumer is moving on with their lives," Jackson said.
"They put their lives on hold in '08, '09, and '10. They've paid down debt. They want to move forward in a responsible, rational way but their cars are worn out because everything got postponed for three or four years."
Consumers "really view the situation in Washington as a soap opera with artificial deadlines," which consumers now ignore when deciding whether to buy a new car.
Jackson said auto manufacturers have never been better balanced in terms of matching vehicle production with demand, meaning they do not have to pile on incentives, which harm a used car's residual value. He said 2013 U.S. sales of about 15.5 million will be attained without hefty incentives.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based AutoNation reported fourth quarter net income of $83.2 million, or 67 cents per share, versus $69.4 million, or 49 cents per share a year ago.
Fourth-quarter revenue was $4.17 billion, up from $3.68 billion a year before. New vehicle sales rose 19 percent to $2.48 billion.
Excluding one-time items, AutoNation's earnings per share of 67 cents beat analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S expectations of 64 cents.
AutoNation repurchased 1.3 million shares for $49 million in the fourth quarter, at an average price of $39.21 per share. In 2012, it repurchased 16.6 million shares for
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