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AutoNation July new vehicle sales rise 17 percent

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) -- AutoNation's new vehicle sales rose 17 percent in July from the prior-year period, by an addition selling day in the period.

The country's biggest car dealership chain said Friday that it sold 25,403 new vehicles last month. Sales of domestic vehicles increased 23 percent, while premium luxury vehicle sales climbed 19 percent. Sales of import vehicles rose 14 percent.

There were 25 selling days in July compared with 24 selling days a year ago.

Sales of new vehicles at car dealerships open at least a year increased 12 percent to 24,195 vehicles. This figure is a key gauge of a car dealer's health because it excludes results from location recently opened or closed.

Last month AutoNation reported that its second-quarter earnings rose 14 percent on strong growth in all of its business units.

AutoNation Inc., which is based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., will report its August new vehicle sales on Sept. 5.