CDK Global

For more than 40 years, CDK Global has been a dominant force in the automotive industry with widely adopted solutions for all facets of dealership operations. On Wednesday, June 2, they announced in a news release that CDK Global has acquired Roadster, Inc. to establish “the first fully integrated, end-to-end retail solution to the automotive market.”

By acquiring Roadster, CDK will be able to provide dealerships with an integrated ability to engage with customers in an omni-channel purchasing experience that can transition between online and in-person as the consumer desires.

President and CEO of CDK Global, Brian Krzanich, said in the press release, “Consumers have shown they are increasingly more willing to purchase big ticket items online, and this trend has quickly accelerated during the pandemic. To meet their expectations, the automotive industry requires integrations of the right technology, data and infrastructure to better connect its online and in-store experiences. Roadster’s consumer-focused approach and innovative technology will significantly contribute to our Modern Retailing efforts to create a seamless omnichannel vehicle-buying process that puts dealers at the heart of the relationship.”

Addressing the pain points

Even prior to the pandemic, Cox Automotive’s 2020 Car Buyer Journey revealed that less than 30% of a customer’s time purchasing a vehicle was spent in dealerships, and just 19% at the dealer where they concluded their purchase. Digital retailing assists dealerships in cutting down pain points that frustrate buyers such as the long time it takes to complete paperwork. And of course, a test drive continues to be an important component to car shoppers, even those shopping online.

An ability to hand off pain points to a more convenient online process aims to alleviate frustration with the car sales process. With the Roadster acquisition, CDK can address hurdles in the customer journey themselves. Dealers have long been able to integrate Roadster into their CDK CRM though as well as other providers, which has been a laborious yet successful process.

Roadster’s founder and CEO, Andy Moss, mentioned, “We’re proud of the work we’ve done at Roadster over the last eight years to modernize the car-buying experience and reduce the time it takes to purchase a vehicle. Automotive retailing is extremely complex, and the best way to create a truly frictionless, end-to-end buying experience is to fully integrate our technology with the back-end systems that power dealership sales, finance and operations, regardless of provider.”

A massive investment in the customer journey

In the press release on Wednesday, the terms of Roadster’s sale to CDK Global were not disclosed. However, in a Form 8-K filed with the SEC, CDK writes, “Under the terms of the Merger Agreement, the stockholders of Roadster are entitled to receive aggregate all-cash merger consideration of $360,000,000, subject to customary adjustments, which the Company has funded from cash on hand.”

The document states that the closing date was June 2 and sees “Roadster continuing as the surviving corporation and as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company”.

It appears Roadster will compliment CDK Global’s other products handsomely – products such as Elead CRM, Digital Contracting and eSign. However, it will continue to be available to other CRM solutions in the industry as well.

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