For CDK Global Inc., Drive Flex is not just a modern dealership management system meant to disrupt its competitors. It will disrupt CDK's own flagship DMS, Drive.
After announcing Drive Flex last March and then piloting it at two stores, CDK says it has about 40 dealers on a list of the next customers to get the DMS. The plan is to eventually roll it out to all of the nearly 9,000 U.S. dealerships that are CDK DMS customers.
Essentially, Drive Flex will be "eating Drive from the bottom up," said Ron Frey, CDK's chief strategy officer.
But that will take some doing.
The company still must secure manufacturer certifications for Drive Flex, and it will go automaker by automaker to do that, CDK executives told Automotive News at the National Automobile Dealers Association Show in San Francisco last month. CEO Brian Krzanich, who joined CDK in November, explained the process to analysts last week during the company's fiscal second-quarter earnings conference call.
"What you're really doing is making sure all of the financial reporting out of the dealership is accurate and reliable back up to the OEMs," he said.