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Jared Hamilton
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Cobalt ADP

Dealer Magazine released a report that ADP is purchasing Cobalt. From a corporate perspective, it puts a huge chunk of both the industry and the revenue under one umbrella, but what does it mean to individual dealers?

I've always been relatively critical of Cobalt, pointing out that they have never been able to optimize their own website to rank #1 on Google for their own name while being the website vendor for manufacturers during their worst sales collapses, but I've also always had a certain level of respect for them because pound for pound, dollar for dollar, they have a very respectable product.

Will this change with ADP at the helm? The good news is that John Holt is staying on as vice president of ADP's Digital Marketing Group: Cobalt, Dealix, and BZ Results. His leadership has built a juggernaut through innovations and sound business practices over the years.

The decision to keep Cobalt and BZ Results separate but under the same roof makes sense in some respects, but one has to question whether keeping tier 1 and 2 interests in mind with one hand will hurt the other hand focusing on tier 3.

What do you all think? Is this move going to be a good one for the individual dealers and dealer groups? Does this give them too much leverage for pushing down the destructive path (in my opinion) of making dealer websites more uniform, more vanilla? Will they be able to combine technologies and innovations between two of the trendsetting companies in the industry?

So many questions surround the deal. It's definitely a good deal for them and likely a great deal for the manufacturers. Where do dealers stand?

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