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Brand X-ed?

Some brands just need to go away, says AutoNation CEO

by on Jan.28, 2009

Jackson tosses Mercury onto the trash heap

Jackson tosses Mercury onto the trash heap

The top executive at America’s largest auto retailer is not known for his shy demeanor, reluctance to express his mind or not having an opinion – quite the contrary, as Jackson once again demonstrated during an appearance in Detroit, where he made it clear which automotive brands should be tossed on the industry’s trash heap.

While not Vice President Biden-like, Mike Jackson is not afraid to speak his mind on CNBC, at stockholder meetings or at the 2009 Automotive News World Congress, in Detroit. If he were not as successful in a varied automotive career his articulate, often funny, remarks and views might not be acknowledged, accepted, much less admired as they are.

Following his what ails the auto industry speech and the subsequent Q&A follow-up, Keith Crain, publisher of Automotive News, asked Jackson for his opinion on what he’d do, “Buy, sell or hold,” as he read a list of auto franchises. Here are his remarks as I recorded and transcribed them.