Cox Automotive appointed a new leader at Dealertrack as it moves much of the dealership management system unit's team to a new headquarters near Salt Lake City.
Cox on Wednesday said it promoted Mandi Fang, 47, to vice president and general manager of Dealertrack. Fang previously worked in product management at Cox Automotive, focusing on new- and used-vehicle inventory management, merchandising and DMS solutions. She has worked in automotive retail for more than 15 years, the company said.
Fang's promotion comes as Cox combines employees at two suburban Salt Lake City sites into a 112,000-square-foot hub in Draper, Utah. The head count at the new location will be 510 employees. Cox declined to disclose the cost of the Draper investment.
Fang told Automotive News that one of her main focuses is helping dealers improve efficiency as they address industrywide concerns about narrowing vehicle profit margins.
"When they're struggling with margin compression, they start to look at what it's costing to run this business," she said.
Fang said the average dealership uses about seven software systems, each for a different purpose. If each system costs about $500 a month, the store spends about $3,500 monthly on the programs, she said.
"So when you think of margin compression, they really start to look at what can they unhook but not lose functionality, not lose the value potentially," Fang said. "And that's one of the things we do really well. We're a very open system."
Dealertrack is partially the successor to Arkona Inc., a dealership management system company Dealertrack Holdings bought for $58.9 million in 2008.
Before buying Arkona, Dealertrack was used by some 22,000 dealerships to submit credit applications and electronic contracts to lenders, and to offer F&I products. With Dealertrack buying it, Arkona had access to those customers, and Dealertrack could in turn use Arkona's open information technology system. Cox then acquired Dealertrack in 2015 for $4 billion.
Dealertrack's new Utah headquarters are rooted in the Arkona acquisition, as that company had been based there. Dealertrack had been headquartered in Lake Success, N.Y., and its F&I operations remain in North Hills, N.Y.
In the DMS sector, Dealertrack is estimated to be third in market share, behind No. 1 CDK Global and No. 2 Reynolds and Reynolds, according to the Gillrie Institute, a Florida consultancy that advises dealers on DMS vendors. Dealertrack's parent company, Cox, has been involved in a multiparty, multidistrict antitrust lawsuit against CDK and Reynolds and Reynolds.
Cox officials declined to estimate Dealertrack's market share but said it has about 3,500 franchised and independent dealership customers.
In Draper, other Cox Automotive products such as Xtime, which provides software used in dealership service departments, will also have a presence in the building. Employees began working there in February.
Fang said, "The investment in the building, bringing people together, has inspired so much more collaboration that I think we're going to see some really great things that continue to evolve with our investments there."