After two-plus years, AutoNation Inc., the largest new-vehicle retailer in the U.S., sold its stake in online used-vehicle startup Vroom Inc. because the companies "were doing nothing together."
That account came from AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson last week to explain why the retailer sold its shares in Vroom in the fourth quarter of last year and early first quarter of this year, netting $215 million and $165 million cash gains on its $50 million investment made in October 2018.
Jackson said AutoNation had wanted a partnership with Vroom and "synergistic common grounds to work together, whether that was in our expertise, reconditioning, digital, whatever."
"Well, none of that worked out," Jackson said after AutoNation announced higher fourth-quarter earnings. "And so then it became purely an investment, which is really not what we intended. ...We decided to declare victory and move on."