The Product

Subscribe Now to The Banks Report

Designed for top automotive executives, dealers, industry analysts and investors The Banks Report is an online source that provides subscribers with predictive and comprehensive analysis of what’s happening in automotive retail.

Subscribers receive comprehensive industry and company analysis, industry reports along with breaking news updates.

AUTOVATE is an annual conference, podcast, and newsletter that covers the intersection of innovation, entrepreneurship, and investment in automotive retail.

AUTOVATE and The Banks Report are now part of the DAS Technology portfolio of companies.


Conferences: In 2016, We launched the industry’s first conference focused on investment in automotive retail, the annual AUTOVATE event, held each December. After holding the event for fours years in Austin, TX, we moved it to Scottsdale, AZ. AUTOVATE has helped foster nearly 2 billion in acquisitions and investments in automotive retail technology companies.

  • AUDIENCE: Exclusive audience of high-net worth executives, investors & entrepreneurs in the automotive retail industry. Click Here to see the types of companies that have participated in previous AUTOVATE events.
  • ATMOSPHERE: Unique venues with a distinctive character that nurture networking opportunities and foster engagement.
  • FORMAT: 15-to-20-minute TED Talk styled Q&A sessions with the audience participating via text with the moderator, with two or three featured presentations from industry analysts.
  • CONTENT: Designed to help investors, dealers & vendor executives  think about the future of their businesses & the industry.
  • ACTION: Deals get started at AUTOVATE. Conversations leading to nearly $2 billion in transactions began at AUTOVATE.

Dinners: AUTOVATE hosts private receptions and dinners in conjunction at industry events such as auto shows and conferences.

NADA Breakfast: AUTOVATE hosts a drop-in breakfast on opening day of the NADA Show.

Bi-Monthly Newsletter: AUTOVATE publishes a newsletter twice a month, providing its unique analysis on the the industry’s leading stories.

Podcasts: AUTOVATE publishes periodic podcasts which include guest conversations about industry M&A, trends, and analysis. You can subscribe on YouTube or Spotify.


Dealership Buy-Sell Reports: The Banks Report is considered the authority on the dealership buy-sell market by dealers, brokers, media outlets and investment firms. In addition to leading analysis (the first to report on the growing trend of Right of First Refusal and the entrance of family office investment firms into the space), TBR also has compiled the industry’s most comprehensive data on dealership buy-sell activity going back to January 2013. Numerous media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, Automotive News, WardsAuto and Auto Remarketing has used our data in their reporting.

Vendor Acquisitions: The Banks Report often learns of acquisitions long before they happen. We treat the information sensitively and will work with companies on timing of publication. TBR also provides predictive analysis on which acquisitions may happen (For example, we predicted both the sale and the $4 billion acquisition price of Dealertrack months before the company was put up for sale). This means our subscribers often know long before others what’s going to happen. And when deals do happen, our subscribers get much more than a rewritten press release. TBR tells you what it means and why it’s important.

Industry Reports: The Banks Report’s industry analysis provides business intelligence you can’t get any where else. After 26 years in the automotive retail space, we have deep relationships with the top executives in the space. We know the personalities, the strengths, the weaknesses and the strategies of all the top players. Our analysis extends beyond the financial reports or press releases.

Be the First to Know: Examples of Stories TBR Broke

  • The Sale of Polk
  • Service Repair Solutions Acquired for $500 Million
  • True Car Sues Sonic Automotive
  • TrueCar Prepping for an IPO
  • GoogleCars Pilot Shut Down
  • Carwoo Shut Down
  • Cars.com for Sale
  • OneCommand Acquires Higher Gear
  • Lithia to Acquire DCH
  • Cox Automotive’s acquisition of XTime
  • George Soros’ partnership with Mark McLarty
  • Holman Automotive’s acquisition of the Kuni Automotive Group
  • AutoNation’s acquisition of the Allen Samuels Group
  • Chip Perry named as CEO of TrueCar
  • Vista Equity’s investment into DealerSocket
  • Berkshire Hathaway acquisition of North Point Toyota

Predictive Analysis: Stories and Trends TBR Subscribers Knew Long Before Anyone Else

  • Sale of Dealertrack for $4 billion (several months before it was announced)
  • Sale of Cars.com to Gannett
  • TrueCar IPO
  • Roll up of service-department related companies — Dealer FX, Service Repair Solutions, XTime, ASR Pro
  • Sale of DME to Solera
  • Sale of Solera to Vista Equity
  • Vista Equity’s automotive play
  • Brian MacDonald’s appointment as CEO and President of CDK (five months before it happened)
  • The trend of family office investment firms investing in dealer groups
  • Growing trend of manufacturers using Right of First Refusal
  • Wall Street’s interest and investment in automotive retail vendors
  • Sale of Polk (also predicted the final price)

(See the numerous media citations of The Banks Report).

The Promise

We promise we won’t flood your inbox with inane content. We know what’s important and what isn’t.

In some ways, we’re old school. You won’t find a Facebook page for The Banks Report, nor will you find a comments section on our reports. Our readers don’t have time for that stuff.

You’re also not going to be bombarded with ads (although, we have a few) or vendor-generated editorial disguised as objective content. Just hardcore objective analysis.

One more promise — we will never sell or share our database of subscribers with anyone. Nor will we send ads to you on behalf of third-parties. We might give up some revenue with that philosophy, but we respect our subscribers’ time and privacy.

The Founder

Cliff Banks is the founder of AUTOVATE, an annual conference, podcast, and newsletter that covers the intersection of innovation, entrepreneurship, and investment in automotive retail. Now in its eighth year, AUTOVATE has helped foster nearly 2 billion in acquisitions and investments in automotive retail technology companies.
He has 35 years of experience in the automotive sector and nearly 25 years as a journalist and analyst. having spent more than 10 years as an editor with WardsAuto, followed by two years managing the Digital Dealer conferences and publications, prior to launching The Banks Report, an online newsletter focused on investment in the automotive retail space, in 2013.
His in-depth knowledge and expertise in the automotive sector have made him a sought-after figure for media commentary. He regularly contributes to discussions in print, radio, and TV. Additionally, Banks has been a keynote speaker and panel moderator at numerous industry conferences and offers consulting services to investors and analysts interested in the automotive retail business.
See the numerous media citations of The Banks Report/Cliff Banks.