Is Cazoo designed to shake up the UK used car market?
As the Sunday Times put it today 'Arthur Daley, the man from Zoopla is coming' - a threat and/or a promise?
The news is that Alex Chesterman, the mastermind behind Zoopla - the highly successful property sales platform - has now set his sights on disrupting the UK used car market with the introduction of a new used car sales platform which will be a new wave shop front for used cars LINK
His plan has been reportedly inspired by the US Carvana used car operator - for an insight into Carvana LINK
His intent is to provide not just a used car sales platform but to supplement this with a substantial stock of used cars linked to the Corby-based BCA vehicle preparation and logistics operation and provide onward delivery to 12 other local distribution hubs and thence to the customer's door within 72 hours by covered truck. And this service is reported to be backed up with a 7 day money-back guarantee and a part exchange facility.
At a time when the UK used car market is under some strain with the shift out of diesel traction and we have seen Pendragon recording a half year loss of £32 million beset with problems from its previously highlighted used car-only centres, set to withdraw from 22 of its Car Store used car sites and one preparation centre (though leaving a rump of 12 stores and two prep centres), the Cazoo operation might look like a brave move. Nevertheless, providing product and service quality is assured, it is likely to add a 'new-look' dimension to used car buyers combining online selling with direct 'one stop' distribution service to the customer (without the need for a dealer visit as the onward march of the virtual further erodes the physical?). Or, perhaps this rings a bell with Tesco's earlier (and now defunct) venture into car sales and their current grocery-based 'you shop, we drop' service...?