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Headquarters: Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Parent company: Republic Industries

Top executives: H. Wayne Huizenga, chairman and co-CEO, Republic; Steven Berrard, president and co-CEO, Republic; Lawrence Rich, president, AutoNation USA; Mike Maroone, president, AutoNation new-vehicle group; Thomas Gruber, senior VP-chief marketing officer, Republic; John Drury, senior VP-chief marketing officer, AutoNation

Market niche: AutoNation's goal is to make itself the brand consumers think of for car sales or rental in the same way people think of McDonald's for hamburgers or Blockbuster for videos. The chain currently has eight used-car superstores, but through consolidation and expansion, AutoNation plans on up to 100 stores offering used, new and rental cars, as well as service and parts.

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