Cox Automotive Reviews | Glassdoor

Cox Automotive Reviews

Updated March 21, 2019
429 reviews

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3.6
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Sandy Schwartz
221 Ratings

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Pros
Cons
  • "No work/life balance only hire contractors upper management is racist" (in 16 reviews)

  • "I worked with Cox Automotive for just under 6 years" (in 12 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (3)

    "Working for a family feels like family"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Program Manager in Atlanta, GA
    Current Employee - Senior Program Manager in Atlanta, GA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cox Automotive full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Cox Automotive is one of the divisions reporting into Cox Enterprises, a fourth generation privately held family run company. There is a real difference when you work for a private company. They can make long term decisions that are the right thing to do regardless of the stock market's response. I've been with the company 12 years now and can't imagine working anywhere else.

    Cons

    If you don't like change, this might not be the right time for you to join the auto industry. Good for me, I love it.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to show how much you trust all of us to do great work. It is evident in the generous time off policies, etc.

    Cox Automotive Response

    Feb 14, 2019

    Thank you for your review and your 10+ years of service! So many of our team members–like you–enjoy the company-wide benefits like our new flexible time-off policy at Cox. We’re pleased to see that... More


  2. "Great Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cox Automotive full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great company and company culture

    Cons

    Traffic around the corporate HQ

    Cox Automotive Response

    Feb 28, 2019

    Thank you for your feedback. We love seeing five-star ratings and do agree that traffic is never fun, especially in Atlanta. But, we do have some great employee discounts for Atlanta commuters on... More

  3. "Family owned and committed"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Director
    Former Employee - Senior Director
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Cox Automotive full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    C level leadership is committed to employees and making difficult decisions for the better of the companies future. Lots of opportunity if you live in Atlanta or willing to travel 100%. Benefits are very competitive.

    Cons

    Change in the form of org structures trying to find what will work for where they want to go. Doesn't impact most employees, but becomes tiring and takes focus off the fun stuff such as pumping out new innovation and products the market wants. Investments in disrupting areas like mobility were slow, but they established strong team to tackle.

    Advice to Management

    Good people that embrace the companies values are let go during workforce reductions while several management/leaders who do not embrace the values continue on.


  4. Helpful (19)

    "Buyer Beware and Proceed with Caution"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Atlanta, GA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Atlanta, GA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Cox Automotive full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    - Good benefits structure.

    - Flexibility with work/life balance.

    - Revered and respected brands in the portfolio.

    - You won’t get bored.

    - Respect from dealers who know the company and brands.

    Cons

    - Cult-like, immature and fundamentally inept senior leadership

    - Toxic working environment that is fostered from the top-down.

    - A culture of incompetence that execs are invested in.

    - But that impacts employees greatly.

    - Political undertones that suffocate qualified talent and company progress.

    - Still too many employees on some teams, meaning there will need to be more cuts in the future.

    - Lack of innovation - with no concrete plan to fix it.

    - No career pathing or growth whatsoever - teams and employees are shifted around at will without regard for what those teams or individuals may want to do.

    Advice to Management

    Read this and understand that while these words may seem harsh, know that was written by someone who still believes in the inherent goodness of your employees and hopes for a better future for Cox Automotive.

    You’ve probably heard great things about working at Cox, maybe even specifically Cox Automotive, and there was a time when that was true. There was a saying that employees were the “secret sauce” that made the company so wonderful. Great people, great customer service, great relationships with dealers and the biggest names in the automotive industry. What could go wrong? Unfortunately, years of rampant mismanagement, unqualified and immature leadership, no product innovation, rounds of layoffs and a resulting cult-like, toxic culture among senior leaders have drastically changed what life was once like at Cox Automotive.

    To be fair, the industry has been under a lot of pressure from shifting consumer tastes, changing dealer demands, uncertainty around impacts from political policy and a digital revolution that upended the world as we knew it. Any one of these is not easy to manage, let alone all of them together and facing a company as large and complicated as Cox Automotive. However, the response to these trends and lack of fundamental understanding from those in positions of power have left the company and its employees badly bruised.

    As the business struggled, employees:
    - Suffered through multiple organizational restructures - often with thinly veiled threats from senior leaders about how easy it would be to eliminate their roles
    - Watched friends and colleagues pack their desks through multiple rounds of layoffs
    - Had their roles rewritten repeatedly, often expanding responsibilities and territories by 2x, 3x, 4x or more
    - Were provided compensation adjustments that didn’t even keep pace with inflation
    - Lost the opportunity for advancement because the organization was not just flattening, but imploding
    - Were subject to political persecution, character assassination, personal smear campaigns and scapegoating

    ...and yet, the leadership at Cox Automotive decided that the those who remained were lucky to be there. For all of this, employee appreciation took place in the form of “pat on the back” webcasts from leaders and t-shirts with company logos.

    The culture among senior leaders at Cox Auto is one of group think, toxic scheming, collective insecurity and frantic reaction, largely because those decision makers are so green and inexperienced.

    Hiring, promotions, and advancing your career are all functions of who you know, not your contribution to the business or resume. Personal friendships and political alliances are prioritized regardless of work product or track record because a system of insider trading and behind-closed-doors decision making is the norm.

    Put simply: leadership is inexperienced and immature, so maintaining power at any cost is always the first order of business. Positions of power are about all that the leaders at Cox Auto can tout - many are not authentically respected by their peers and pupils, and for good reason.

    Executives have reorganized and realigned relentlessly, changed goals and tactics, combined functional areas, consolidated, and finally, made numerous “unicorn” hires from the outside: The person who is a “game changer,” and who will come to Cox and provide the “magic touch we’ve been missing.”

    Here’s the funny thing about that: the company has hired a number of brilliant, capable people, but many of them last no longer than a few months. The reason? As much as execs say they want to rewrite the rule book and “disrupt” the culture and industry, such hires are met with closed doors and closed minds on day 1. Cox Auto doesn’t actually want to do anything differently - doing so would be a threat to the existing power structure.

    New minds with fresh perspective are alarming to those who built the current system, so no progress will ever be made until there is a mass purge of tenured executives. Such hires have been made at multiple levels on multiple teams - and nearly all of them have checked out after getting a taste of the culture or being laid off as a “bad cultural fit.”

    That process - the search, hiring and then failure of these “make everything better hires” - leads to the blatant marginalization of existing employees. Very often, tenured, experienced employees - the ones with good understanding about what can change and improve - are seen by senior management as part of the problem and generally dispensable. This is done to protect the existing system of alliances and friendships at higher levels - so that there is someone to blame for problems and falling short of goals.

    A few years ago, senior leadership introduced a mantra they claimed to believe in and wanted employees to embrace as well: “Open, honest and direct.” It was launched right around the time that the business started falling apart, so it felt appropriate and appreciated. “Be open, honest and direct with your manager. Tell us what you think we don’t want to hear! There are no bad ideas!”

    As it turned out, “open, honest and direct” was only the latest installment of Cox Automotive’s “do as I say, don’t do as I do,” culture. Employees who raised their hands with suggestions or constructive criticism were sidelined, alienated and ridiculed by senior management behind closed doors. Conversely, people managers were empowered to provide negative, harsh, often personal criticism of their teams. The policy, for all of its lip service from senior executives, turned into a way to belittle and devalue employees - but always with an underlying theme of how lucky they were to still be at Cox when so many weren’t.

    Put simply, the current state of Cox Automotive is the result of widespread, systemic failures at the highest levels. At the middle to upper levels of the business, there is a fundamental lack of strategic understanding combined with a general attitude of distrust, self preservation, micromanagement and “protecting what’s ours.” Executives and senior management point fingers across teams, undermine one another, place blame and then pass this mentality onto their teams, undermining collaboration and reinforcing elementary levels of professional maturity. It’s toxic.

    This created a work environment that breeds and rewards politics, backstabbing, gossip and alliances, while only inducing anxiety and loss of motivation on the people doing the work.“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” could have been written about Cox Automotive. Some managers even villainize members of their own teams to divert the focus from failed leadership decisions to “problem employees.” What happens once that employee is managed out? The focus shifts to someone else. The responsibility never lies with those in charge of actual business decisions - it’s always the fault of someone else.

    Most unfortunate is the fact that HR is as much a part of the problem as senior leadership. At Cox Automotive, the HR team is ingrained in the oppressive “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” culture and cannot be trusted. HR will tell employees they “can trust us” and that they are there to help, then proceed to have seemingly “open, honest and direct” conversations under the guise of confidentiality. However, extreme detail is relayed to managers and sometimes, HR takes liberties in adding their own colorful detail and assumptions when doing so.

    The turnover has been so high - even at senior management levels - that the company stopped providing organizational announcements and business updates for fear that it would negatively impact morale.

    Most of the truly smart, capable, hard working people have already left Cox Auto (through their own means or layoffs) or are interviewing with the intention to do so. They know there is not a future of innovation or opportunity until there are massive changes at the executive level. The people who remain and are planning to stay there are either 1) part of the political problem, 2) tied into the pension system and hoping to ride it out to retirement or 3) new to the company and haven’t figured it out yet.

    I have noticed that many of the positive reviews on Glassdoor are posted by employees who have been with the company for less than a year. In my experience, this is still a honeymoon period and well before reality sets in, though I hope these individuals continue to have a positive experience.

    Your best chance of a great career at Cox Automotive is being related to or personal friends with someone in senior leadership. This will earn you an immediate golden ticket with promotions and special status, exempting you from much of what I’ve written above.

    To those looking to come to Cox Automotive, my advice would be to think twice, network and do your research. Your experience at the company will be heavily dependent on your team: Will you report to a leader who believes in and empowers you? Will you be given everything you were sold during the interview process? What are your personal expectations around career growth and the future - and would you be happy with 50% of that? I speak from experience by saying that the grass is not always greener - in fact, at Cox Automotive, it’s not really grass at all. It’s a swamp.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Your mileage may vary"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Atlanta, GA
    Current Employee - Manager in Atlanta, GA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Cox Automotive full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Large organization - multiple businesses under one umbrella makes it easier to make lateral moves to increase your skills and keep things interesting. Good benefits - especially lower than average medical deductible and premium.

    Cons

    Large acquistions are easy. It's integrating the businesses afterwards that's the challenge. This is reflected at Cox Auto in many ways - frequent reorganizations, "flavor of the month" initiatives that lack staying power, and that tone deaf Dukes of Hazard tie in at Auto Trader a few years back (what were they thinking???)

    The company is undergoing continuous right-sizing and management shakeups. They revamped their PTO policy to offer "unlimited" time off, which very conveniently means no vacation payout for the right-sized and a reluctance on some teams to take PTO out of concern for the optics.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Good culture and growth opportunities"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Cox Automotive full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Excellent culture. Encouraging of work/life balance. Upfront communication by leadership of all levels in my time with the company.

    Cons

    It's a large organization. My team is great, YMMV.

    Cox Automotive Response

    Mar 18, 2019

    Thank you for your review we are thrilled to hear that you are enjoying your time with us.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Not terrible, not great either"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Trainer II in Burlington, VT
    Current Employee - Trainer II in Burlington, VT
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Cox Automotive full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Overall compensation is decent for the area. The people at Dealer.com a Cox Automotive brand are AMAZING. I've had the pleasure of working with some of the smartest people I've ever met. The giving nature of Dealer.com has continued through their transition to a Cox Automotive brand.

    Cons

    Medical insurance isn't ideal for those of us working in Vermont. Aetna has been terrible to work with and Cox doesn't seem to care if their health insurance works for all business locations.
    In the two and a half years I've worked for the company I've seen them make 3 major strategic changes in how the front line digital marketing team serves dealerships; these changes appear to have been made without a strong change management roll out plan to support the staff impacted by these changes.

  8. "Solid company with the usual complexities that a large company offers"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Communications Manager + Executive Assistant in Atlanta, GA
    Former Employee - Communications Manager + Executive Assistant in Atlanta, GA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Cox Automotive full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Cox Enterprises is a multi-generational family founded business with values intact that transcend across the organization. Cox strives to do what is right for the community everyday.

    Cons

    While it speaks volumes to the company the number of lifelong employees Cox has attracted, on the automotive side this also presents a challenge of being stuck in "we always do it this way" mindset in some parts of the organization.

    Advice to Management

    While it speaks volumes to the company, the number of lifelong employees Cox has attracted, this also presents a challenge of being stuck in "we always do it this way" mindset in some parts of the organization. Breakdown this mindset and be open to new ideas, everyone has an idea to contribute.

    Cox Automotive Response

    Mar 18, 2019

    We appreciate you sharing your thoughts and detailed feedback here on Glassdoor. This is helpful to us in understanding the pockets where we can further improve the team member experience. Our work... More


  9. "."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Cox Automotive full-time

    Pros

    Not sure yet. Too new

    Cons

    High turnover. Benefits are not great.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Software Engineer II"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer-II in Atlanta, GA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer-II in Atlanta, GA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Cox Automotive full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Good benefits. Flexible PTO and work from home.

    Cons

    Teams are not clearly aligned with vision and skill set.

    Cox Automotive Response

    Mar 18, 2019

    Thank you for your review! We’re glad to hear you’re enjoying your experience within our technology teams. As the industry continues to shift and change you may have felt this same change within your... More