He said prioritizing resources requires hard decisions on which areas to double down on and which to abandon.
"You buy these companies and everybody thinks their priority is No. 1," Schwartz said. But financial and other resources are limited and bets must be made.
For Cox Automotive, which had more than $7 billion in revenue last year, size is a blessing and a challenge.
"We are a big company," Schwartz said. "We can do a lot of stuff because we have a lot of horsepower." But that scale also makes it harder to turn the ship, he said.
"What I've really worked on is trying to cut some of the difficulty away so we can make decisions faster," Schwartz said.
The need to get products to market faster drove Cox to integrate its media unit into the retail business this year. The reorganization will shift operations internally but the outside world will see little change.
Dealers already "look at us as one," Schwartz said at the time.
In August, Cox also said it would consolidate its growing portfolio of tech-related investments to create a Mobility Solutions Group. Foreseeing a future in which fewer consumers will buy or own vehicles, Cox is positioning itself to deliver software and services to car-sharing and ride-hailing companies, vehicle subscription programs and, eventually, robotaxi fleets.
"What we're doing is setting ourselves up so that we can be a great provider of services," Schwartz told Automotive News in August. "We're in a great position to be able to create and develop those next skills and those next services that are going to be needed as we move forward."
It is potentially a big opportunity. According to an internal company memo, Mobility Solutions Group could grow to revenue of $100 million to $150 million in the next few years, and then balloon into a $5 billion business in a decade.