US car retail group AutoNation has named current chief executive Mike Jackson chairman, effective January 1, succeeding founder Wayne Huizenga, who is retiring on December 31.

Huizenga will continue as a director and Jackson remain CEO.

"AutoNation has come a long way from concept to reality," Huizenga said. "I will be 65 in December and I am fortunate to be in excellent health. I felt it was time for me to scale back my involvement at AutoNation and focus my attention towards new entrepreneurial opportunities.”