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AutoNation CEO says Big 3 inventory calculation not realistic
By John D. Stoll
Last Update: 2:07 PM ET Oct 26, 2006

DETROIT (MarketWatch) -- The head of the largest U.S. auto-dealer group said Thursday that U.S. auto makers and sales analysts need to "move into the real world" and recalculate vehicle inventory estimates in a way that better reflects how deep a hole the Big Three are in.
AutoNation Inc. (AN) Chief Executive Mike Jackson said the current practice of calculating days' supply of unsold vehicles is "outdated" and "dramatically understates" how much excess inventory is being carried by dealers selling General Motors Corp. (GM), Ford Motor Co. (F) and DaimlerChrysler AG's (DCX) Chrysler Group vehicles. He said that auto makers and certain analysts currently calculate days' supply based on both the pace of retail sales to actual consumers and fleet sales, such as deliveries to rental car firms and government agencies.

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