Coronavirus: AutoNation furloughs 7,000 workers, cuts top executives’ pay

Coronavirus: AutoNation furloughs 7,000 workers, cuts top executives’ pay
AutoNation announced it was furloughing 7,000 of its employees and cutting the salaries of its top executives. (Rick Loomis/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — AutoNation is furloughing 7,000 employees, cutting the pay of its top executives and imposing a hiring freeze as the auto dealer giant is feeling the economic pinch caused by the coronavirus.

AutoNation, based out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, disclosed its decisions in a filing with the Security and Exchange Commission, noting that its year-over-year sales had fallen by 50%, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

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The report, filed Thursday, noted that AutoNation cut advertising spending by nearly 50% for the second quarter of 2020. The company also reduced discretionary spending and postponed more than $50 million in capital spending during the second quarter, scoring to the filing.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely impacted, and is expected to continue to adversely impact, AutoNation’s operations,” the company said in the filing.

“Markets from which we derive approximately 95% of our total revenue are currently under extensive ‘shelter in place’ or ‘stay-at-home’ orders from federal, state, and local governments, which significantly restrict our business operations, in particular our sales activities,” AutoNation wrote in its filing.

Company CEO Cheryl Miller and Chairman Mike Jackson will have their annual salaries cut by 50%, the Sun-Sentinel reported. Executive vice presidents will have their salaries cut by 35%, while senior vice presidents and regional vice presidents will see their paychecks slashed by 30%, according to the filing. Other executives will take a 20% cut.