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Recovery Under Way in Auto Sales: AutoNation CEO

The data show that a recovery in the auto industry is currently underway and the American consumer won't be paralyzed by dysfunction in Washington, said Mike Jackson, the CEO of Autonation, a major online vehicle marketplace.

In the company's conference call, Jackson said that the used car market is "just beginning to recover" in 2013. "It's a really good time in the auto business, for once in my life I'm in the right place at the right time," Jackson said on "Squawk on the Street," citing double-digit gains in the premium luxury sales, pickup truck sales, and activity in California.

"This recovery in autos is plowing through all of the headwinds," he said. "The trend confirm that our forecast for mid-14 million in sales for new vehicles is solid this year. Strong used car residual values are definitely facilitating trades."

Jackson sees "genuine replacement need" as a foundation for the auto recovery, with the average trade-in reading 160,000 miles on the odometer. "In addition, for the first time, high gasoline prices are supporting sales, because new products have significantly improved fuel economy," he said.

"If Washington could really get out of the way, I think there's a chance for much stronger growth in the U.S. economy," Jackson added.

—By CNBC's Paul Toscano. Follow him on Twitter and get the latest stories from "Squawk on the Street" @ToscanoPaul

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