FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - In the aftermath of the John Elway AutoNation USA pilot in Denver, the No. 1 megadealer has begun to affix AutoNation signs on all its 340 U.S. dealerships.

The signs identify its retailers as members of the "AutoNation USA Network."

Previously AutoNation Inc.'s new-car stores were not identified as AutoNation properties. The firm's used-car stores were however.

Seventeen John Elway stores in Denver tested the branding concept with a one-price policy early this year, but one-pricing won't be offered nationwide, says Tom Eggleston, senior vice-president for AutoNation technology initiatives.

Mr. Eggleston, who joined AutoNation in 1998 after the Driver's Mart used-vehicle superstore network he headed was sold to AutoNation, says dealers will retain their company names, with AutoNation added in signs and ads.

Common ad formats, themes and music will be used, says Mr. Eggleston.

AutoNation dealer ad outlays are estimated at $230 million this year, but the new approach could save up to $30 million in 2000, says Mr. Eggleston