An increased American appetite for trucks and SUVs signals a belief that cheap gasoline prices are here to stay, AutoNation Chairman and CEO Mike Jackson said Thursday.
Consumers had been trained over the years that unrest in the Mideast equals pain at the gas pump, Jackson told CNBC's told "Squawk Box." "Lo and behold, the Middle East is a bigger mess than ever, and gasoline prices are going down."
"So the American people have concluded something has fundamentally changed on the supply side. And we're going to have low gasoline prices for a long time," he continued. "The American people, left to their own desires, really enjoy big, comfortable, luxurious vehicles."
When gas prices were at $3 per gallon, AutoNation, the nation's largest dealer chain, had a sales mix of about 45 percent trucks and SUVs, Jackson said. "We're now at 60 percent trucks in the month of December."