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Asbury (ABG) Gains More Than 12% on Ambitious 5-Year Plan

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Zacks Equity Research
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Asbury Automotive Group, Inc.’s ABG shares appreciated more than 12% since the company launched Clicklane — the company’s end-to-end e-commerce platform — and unveiled its five-year strategic growth plan.

The U.S. based automotive retailer recently announced the launch of Clicklane, its online shopping platform, which ensures a true online car-buying and selling experience. Asbury has teamed up with Gubagoo's Virtual Retailing 2.0 to build this full-digital retailing solution, enabling the company to accelerate car-buying experience across its store base.
The company also updated on its ambitious five-year growth plan to register revenues of $20 billion by 2025. It plans to achieve this goal by driving same-store revenue growth of $2 billion over five years, acquiring $5 billion of additional revenues over five years and adding an incremental $5 billion of revenues through the new Clicklane platform.

Future of Auto Industry is Digital

The coronavirus pandemic has transformed the face of the auto industry. Social-distancing and sanitization measures brought on by the pandemic have prompted automakers to find ways for conducting businesses remotely. In such a scenario, it has become imperative for them to boost the digital capabilities and provide consumers with an online platform for making their purchases.

Clicklane is Asbury’s latest digital evolution to reorient its business model in order to keep pace with the transforming scenario. The company started this initiative more than four years ago. With Clicklane, the company has found a one-stop solution to what has been a fragmented process, by giving a 100% truly digital experience to customers.

Per Asbury,Clicklane spans all the gaps that may subsist with the currently-existing online automotive retailing platforms. Features that are exclusive to this platform include prompt, accurate payoff on an existing auto loan; a genuine offer on a trade-in; a “penny-perfect” price quote on the new vehicle; offers on finance and insurance products specific to the vehicle’s VIN and customers’ driving style; and ability to sign all documents online.

Asbury’s earlier version of its online channel, PushStart, could complete only 40% of the transaction online and was not a complete end-to-end online solution. With Clicklane’s launch, the company claims to have perfected online buying, though other automakers might have pioneered online car buying.

Asbury first implemented Clicklane at one of its stores in the Florida market, which has now been introduced at several Asbury stores across the globe. The company projects to complete the roll out of Clicklane at all its stores by the end of the first quarter of 2021.

Notably, as part of a Phase Two, Clicklane also potentially provides Asbury with the ability to capture markets where it presently has no dealerships.

Other automakers making considerable efforts to digitally revamp their business models include Lithia Motors LAD, Carvana Co. CVNA and Vroom Inc VRM.

Asbury currently carries a Zacks Rank of 2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Notably, shares of the company have appreciated 23.2% year to date, while the industry has witnessed a rise of 41.6%.

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