Those range from dealer management systems and customer relationship management to inventory management, service scheduling, finance and insurance, and third-party vehicle listing and merchandizing services.
As a result, the combined entity will become a significant, if not the leading, rival to every other company providing software and digital services to dealerships, including dealer management system providers Reynolds and Reynolds and CDK Global, as well as online vehicle-listing and merchandizing services such as TrueCar and Edmunds.com.
While Cox Automotive and Dealertrack have leadership positions in several software and marketing services, those positions tend to be complementary rather than overlapping.
Cox Automotive's Autotrader.com is the busiest third-party shopping site in the U.S. Kelley Blue Book, one of the most-recognized brands in America, lets consumers value their vehicles. Xtime is a leader in service department software. And vAuto is an industry leader in providing inventory management software.
Publicly traded Dealertrack is the established leader in software that allows dealers to find financing for customers, digital marketing through its Dealer.com unit and retail tools that enable dealerships to offer vehicle shoppers the ability to complete most of a transaction online.
Dealertrack also brings to the combined company a dealer management system, formerly Arkona, something Cox Automotive lacked.
Dyer told Automotive News the acquisition of Dealertrack was about providing more products for dealerships, not cost savings. "We looked [at acquisitions] that could be transformational and Dealertrack topped the list," he said.
Cox Automotive also sees a cultural fit with Dealertrack. Cox Automotive, like Dealertrack, aims to buy successful companies and keep existing management, Dyer said.
Dealertrack CEO Mark O'Neil said he intends to continue running Dealertrack as it is integrated into Cox Automotive. Dealertrack's senior management also is staying.
Pollak said he stayed after selling his company to Cox because his employer gives him the freedom to develop technologies in-house or seek them elsewhere to improve the efficiency of dealerships.
An example is MakeMyDeal, a small company that Pollak persuaded Cox Automotive to nurture and incubate for many months.
The company now is getting traction with a product that allows shoppers to negotiate and communicate with dealers from the vehicle landing pages of a website, Pollak said.
"We only buy successful companies and we respect their cultures," Pollak said. "That said, there's an expectation of high accountability, high performance and high compensation. We're allowed to be agile but with a high degree of accountability."
Cox Automotive is on pace for $5 billion in revenue in 2015. Dealertrack posted revenue of $253 million in its fiscal first quarter ended March 31.
The $4 billion cash acquisition dwarfs the previous largest in the sector. In 2006, Bob Brockman's Universal Computer Systems bought Reynolds and Reynolds for $2.8 billion.