Big Changes at Cox, Manheim & AutoTrader

It was surprising for a lot of people to see Cox Enterprise’s announcement Monday that Chip Perry will be leaving on May 1st.

Perry played a huge role in growing AutoTrader Group’s business model and was its very first employee. He led acquisitions of VinSolutions, HomeNet Automotive, vAuto, and Kelley Blue Book; attempted to take AutoTrader Group public twice; and he’s considered one of the true founders of digital marketing in the dealer business.

Sanford (Sandy) Schwartz, president of Manheim, now heads up AutoTrader Group. Prior to his role with Manheim, he served as president of Cox Media Group, which involved nearly every type of media. Will there be more integration of media, remarketing, digital marketing, and automotive technology solutions through Cox? It appears there could be many opportunities, several of which AutoTrader has been taking on in the past couple of years with its business units. Cox says it doesn’t plan to merge AutoTrader and Manheim. It would make sense to see more integration of these business units in the near-term future as new technology, digital marketing, upstream remarketing, and social media become the norm.

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