Cox Auto Bolsters Fleet Management Business Acquiring Major Player

Cox Auto Bolsters Fleet Management Business Acquiring Major Player

Cox’s Automotive Mobility Group launched Pivet in January, 2019, connecting its Manheim auto auction brand with mobile care company RideKleen, along side other similar vendors to supply fleet maintenance services. The acquisition of DFS bolsters Pivet’s portfolio to incorporate servicing larger commercial vehicles. 

The need to expand fleet services has become more urgent since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, creating an enormous increase in e-commerce as health concerns force people to figure and shop from home and usually do more business remotely. In their announcement, the businesses also means , “Fleets and technology will play a considerable role in an A.C.E.S. (autonomous/aerial, connected, electric and shared) future, leading to significant increases in miles traveled per vehicle and a more frequent need for service and maintenance.”
That urgency was reflected during a statement from Joe George, president of Cox Automotive Mobility which said, “The mobile repair segment will only become more significant over time, and therefore the seamless integration of Dickinson’s capabilities provides a substantial breakthrough on our path to creating Pivet the industry’s most comprehensive fleet services resource.” 

George’s assessment of fleet management growth is borne out by research from industry consulting company MarketsandMarkets which predicts the worldwide marketplace for such services will grow from $19.9 billion last year to $34 billion by 2025, citing, “The primary factors driving the expansion of fleet management market include the increasing government regulations and wish for optimization of fleet operating expenses. the opposite factors supporting the market growth include the decreasing hardware and software costs and growing need for operational efficiency among fleet owners.”

DFS was founded in 1997, starting with three garages and a couple of dozen technicians. it's since grown to 21 company-owned service centers and quite 700 mobile service trucks employing quite 1,000 people globally. 

“We are honored to be a neighborhood of the Cox family, and excited for what this partnership means for our team and our customers,” said Mike Dickinson and Ted Coltrain, executive officers of Dickinson Fleet Services during a joint statement. “Cox Automotive Mobility has a fantastic vision to develop our people and expand our service offering and footprint. Together, we'll be ready to rapidly answer our customers’ fleet needs today and into the longer term .” 

Dickinson’s acquisition by Cox comes only weeks after DFS announced on Nov. 10 that along side majority shareholder Ridgemont Equity Partners, it had acquired Kansas City, Missouri-based Interstate Truck Center (ITC). That company provides emergency mobile services with 175 mobile repair units and a 24/7 call centre . 

According to a Cox Automotive Mobility spokesman, the Dickinson deal closed “late December”, but that today marked the primary opportunity to form the announcement to employees and to the general public . 

Terms of the deal weren't disclosed as both DFS and Cox Automobile Mobility parent company Cox Automotive are privately held. Also under the Cox Automotive umbrella are such brands as Autotrader, Manheim, Kelley Blue Book, Dealer.com, Dealertrack and Clutch Technologies.