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AutoNation CEO Remains Upbeat About Car Sales

The housing slump may be hurting auto sales -- but Mike Jackson says he's "not concerned." The CEO of dealership firm AutoNation joined "Squawk Box" to talk frankly about real estate's ripples -- and why he remains optimistic.

Earlier this week, General Motors Vice Chairman Robert Lutz said the "mortgage meltdown" had affected his company's sales, and many analysts followed suit.

Jackson told CNBC's Becky Quick that he predicted the situation last year, particularly in "big speculative real estate markets" like Florida and California -- a combined market where AutoNation does 50% of its business.

With Florida leading the U.S. in foreclosures -- double the number from a year ago -- why is Jackson "not concerned"?

He said that "looking long-term," Florida and California will emerge from the present doldrums and continue to be "big growth states." He also touted his revamping of AutoNation's portfolio, putting the company "in better shape than they were five years ago" -- and better able to deal with economic challenges.

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