Autotrader parent acquires Indianapolis-based Dickinson Fleet Services

The parent company of Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book has acquired Indianapolis-based Dickinson Fleet Services, one of the nation’s largest mobile maintenance companies for medium- and heavy-duty trucks and trailers.

Atlanta-based Cox Automotive Inc. announced the acquisition Tuesday morning. Privately-held Cox said it acquired 100% ownership of the company but did not disclose financial details. The deal closed in late December.

Headquartered at 4709 W. 96th St., Dickinson was founded in 1997 by now-retired brothers Bob Dickinson and Dick Dickinson. The company has been on a major growth spurt since 2017, when Charlotte, North Carolina-based private equity firm Ridgemont Equity Partners acquired majority ownership of the firm.

Since then, Dickinson has made 10 acquisitions, with the most recent coming Nov. 10, when it acquired Kansas City, Missouri-based Interstate Truck Center, which provides emergency mobile services with 175 repair units and a 24-hour call center.

Dickinson has about 1,000 employees overall, including 200 in Indianapolis. It operates 18 nationwide service centers and a fleet of more than 700 mobile repair units.

The business will continue to operate under the Dickinson name, serving under the Cox Automotive Mobility’s Pivet fleet division, which was founded two years ago.

“Cox Automotive values the culture and leadership Dickinson Fleet Services has built,” the company said in an email to IBJ. “There will be no immediate changes to operations.”

Dickinson Executive Directors Ted Coltrain and Mike Dickinson will continue to run the business, serving under Cox Automotive Mobility President Joe George.

“Cox Automotive is building a fleet optimization marketplace designed to manage every fleet asset’s complete lifecycle, and the acquisition of Dickinson Fleet Services both strengthens and diversifies Pivet’s growing portfolio,” George said in written remarks. “The mobile repair segment will only become more significant over time, and the seamless integration of Dickinson’s capabilities provides a considerable leap forward on our path to making Pivet the industry’s most comprehensive fleet services resource.”

In addition to Kelley Blue Book and Autotrader, Cox Automotive operates a number of auto-related brands employing more than 27,000 people, including Dealertrack, Clutch Technologies, Dealer.com, Manheim, NextGear Capital, VinSolutions, vAuto and Xtime.

Cox Automotive is a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises Inc., an Atlanta-based company with annual revenue of $21 billion.

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