HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. –
CDK Global said Wednesday it has acquired digital vehicle sales platform Roadster.
Terms of the purchase were not disclosed in the news release, but CDK shared this in a Form 8-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission: “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.”
Roadster began as an online vehicle concierge service with more of a consumer-facing mindset. The inventory sold came from dealerships, but Roadster was still a buffer between consumers and the traditional dealership sales process, founder and chief executive officer Andy Moss said in this 2017 story.
But the model shifted. With the release of Express Storefront in 2016, Roadster changed its model to include dealers and has essentially been partnering with them ever since to provide digital retailing capabilities in a white-label format, of sorts.
In Wednesday’s news release, CDK alluded to the growing competition between dealers, as they ramp up their digital capabilities and the online used-car marketplaces that have gained significant traction, as of late.
Bringing the platform into the CDK fold can “help franchise automotive dealers compete with — and exceed the capabilities of — digital-first used vehicle marketplaces that have expanded rapidly in the past year,” the company said.
The Roadster platforms allow dealers to sell vehicles 100% online but also give the option for consumers to take the process offline or online at any point, CDK said.
“Consumers have shown they are increasingly more willing to purchase big ticket items online, and this trend has quickly accelerated during the pandemic,” CDK president and CEO Brian Krzanich said in a news release.
“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,” Krzanich said. “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.”
The purchase gives CDK additional market and OEM partnership opportunities, and broader offering to its dealers, the company said.
The Roadster platform will utilize the open integrations via the Fortellis platform that provide access to back-end systems regardless of the particular DMS or CRM system is being used.
“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,” Moss, the Roadster CEO, said in the release. “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.”