This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, July 25, 2002, that was edited for clarity. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews.
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NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Another company that is changing fast and furious and doing a lot of good things lately, AutoNation. America's largest car retailer reporting better than expected earnings today. The stock still taking a hit though. The first six months of the year, cars were selling fast and furious. But things beginning to slow down just a bit. But does that mean that the company cannot still make a lot of money?
No one sells more cars than this guy, AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson. Good to have you, Mike.
CAVUTO: I always love when I tease that you're going to be show and say we have Michael Jackson on, my ratings go through the roof. So, just please stick with that name.
JACKSON: I can't sing or dance, but I can sell cars.
CAVUTO: All right. And you indicated that things are still looking up for the remainder of the year, and yet Wall Street just said, who cares. What do you make of that?
JACKSON: Well, we got Wall Street saying a lot of who cares to a lot stocks at the moment. I don't think that is a true indication of what is going to happen here. We, of course, were concerned going into the third quarter in July with the disruptive situation in the equity markets, would it finally affect the American consumer? And July's figures show that the American consumer is out there, drawn by the very powerful combination of attractive products from the manufacturer with a good value story combined with incentives. And our July figures are running ahead of last year's so far.
CAVUTO: Yes, but, Michael, it is interesting. I mean, I keep hearing you have this great product out there. But they won't budge. Consumers won't do squat, that they don't see those incentives, those rebates and otherwise they just sit pat.
JACKSON: Neil, you are absolutely right. It is the combination. If you go back to past downturns though, the attractive product was not there, the incentives were there. But it wouldn't move the marketplace. You really need that combination of attractive product with the incentives. And if you look at the level of this market through the last few years, despite the recession, despite all the challenges to the consumer, it is remaining strongly over 16 million units. We have never seen that before.
CAVUTO: So, let me get your take on the markets and the fact that they are hiccuping all over the map. I mean, does that help or hurt a business like yours? I mean, do people look at their holdings in the stock market and equate it to what they can get or cannot get in a car?
JACKSON: As I just said, in July, our sales figures are strong. As far as the value of our stock, we have been impacted like everyone else. We will buy more shares back because the stock is clearly undervalued. And I think as investors begin to come back, they are going to be attracted to our company. You know, we have a very simple business model. It's understandable. All our figures are transparent. And we make money the old-fashioned way. When we have a profit, we have the cash to go with it. And to grow the company going forward, we have all the capital we need.
CAVUTO: All right. Michael, thank you, as always and also for juggling with us and these breaking news developments. We appreciate it.
JACKSON: My pleasure, Neil.
CAVUTO: Michael Jackson is the CEO of AutoNation.
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