Bill Gates Buys Stake in AutoNation

Each day we are faced with pessimistic news regarding the sales of new and used cars. Dealerships are stuck with inventory they can’t sell and manufacturers are trying to cope with rapidly declining sales. With all this gloomy news it’s hard to be optimistic. So is the auto business glass half empty or possibly half filled?

Bill Gates seems to be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and must be thinking that the auto business glass is half filled. According to the SEC Mr. Gates just purchased a 5% stake in the dealership chain AutoNation Inc. The stake makes Gates AutoNation’s third-largest shareholder, according to Bloomberg News.

According to Automotive News, AutoNation, based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is the largest dealership group in the United States with 321 franchises, selling U.S, Asian and European cars with retail sales of 328,963 mew cars in 2007.

In betting on auto dealerships, Gates joins fellow technology pioneer Michael Dell. Dell, the founder of Dell Computers, announced plans in May to team with former Sonic Automotive President Jeffrey Rachor to start a joint dealership venture.

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