Cliff Banks - The Banks Report

IndiGO Acquires BMW Store in CA — UPDATED

September 1, 2016 — Todd Blue’s IndiGO Auto Group announced yesterday it has acquired BMW of Palm Springs in California. It is the group’s 12th luxury franchise. The acquisition closes out was has been a furious final two weeks in August in which the industry saw nine transactions involving 21 dealerships (25 franchises). The Banks Report will… Continue Reading

Lithia Acquires Ford Store

Lithia Acquires Ford Store

August 13, 2016 — Lithia Motors has acquired Kemp Ford in Thousand Oaks, CA, renaming it DCH Ford it’s fourth acquisition in 2016. The purchase should increase Lithia’s revenues by $65 million annually. The publicly traded dealer group, based in Medford, OR, acquired Riverside Subaru in Riverside, CA in January and Ira Toyota in Milford, MA… Continue Reading

Cox Automotive Makes Big Play in Australia

Cox Automotive Makes Big Play in Australia

August 11, 2016 — Following its June acquisition of the Australian-based Dealer Solutions, Cox Automotive will acquire News Corp’s 50% stake in CarsGuide, an online automotive classifieds site, also in Australia. Once the acquisition closes sometime in the fourth quarter, Cox will combine CarsGuide with Dealer Solutions and Manheim’s Australian division which includes its buying service SellMyCar into… Continue Reading

Geitner Replaces Rowe at Cox Automotive

Geitner Replaces Rowe at Cox Automotive

August 11, 2016 — Cox Automotive announced this week that Brian Geitner will replace Jared Rowe as president of its Media Solutions Group which includes Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book and Dealer.com. Although Rowe was not fired (he is leaving for a position outside of automotive) the move is clear indication that integration following last year’s… Continue Reading

Tegna’s Cars.com to Acquire DealerRater

Tegna’s Cars.com to Acquire DealerRater

July 26, 2016 — Tegna announced this morning that its subsidiary Cars.com has acquired dealer review company DealerRater. The acquisition, which is scheduled to close in August, will give Cars.com four million consumer-submitted reviews. The company was founded in 2002 by Chip Grueter. In late 2013, private equity firm Great Hill Partners took a majority position in… Continue Reading

Cliff Banks - The Banks Report

Why Private Equity Likes Automotive Retail

While much of the media’s attention is on solutions and companies poised to take advantage of the pending “Connected Car” era, the investment community has made some big plays in automotive retail technology. Within the last 42 months, according to data compiled by The Banks Report nearly $50 billion in capital has changed hands through IPOs, mergers, investments… Continue Reading

Cliff Banks - The Banks Report

CDK Finishes Fiscal Year Strong

July 18, 2016 — Brian MacDonald’s turn around plan for CDK Global appears to be off to a good start, according to preliminary results for its fourth quarter fiscal year earnings (ending June 30, 2016). MacDonald, who was appointed president and CEO of CDK earlier this year, stepped up the company’s transformation plan that was… Continue Reading

Cliff Banks - The Banks Report

Private Car Ownership — A dirty Word in Silicon Valley?

To steal a phrase, Silicon Valley appears to be gripped by an “irrational exuberance” for the future utopia promised by connected and autonomous vehicle technology. At the recent Connected & Charged conference presented by Prospect Silicon Valley held at the SAP campus in Palo Alto, CA, it was striking to see the attention given by panelists and speakers on… Continue Reading