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Former Pendragon CEO Trevor Finn plans to ‘re-engineer’ car retail

Trevor Finn, Pendragon chief executive

Pendragon founder and former chief executive, Trevor Finn, has said that he plans to “re-engineer parts of the industry that aren’t functioning efficiently” with his new online business venture.

Finn, who last month announced that he was poised to make a return to the automotive sector almost 12 months after departing the former AM100-topping car retail group, has provided further insights into his planned return in a second blog post.

And he revealed: “As COVID-19 retreats and the brave advance, my next communication will be to publicly launch our new business.”

Finn registered a new business, listed on Companies House as New World Automotive, in October last year.

The business is officially a consultancy, but Finn is intent on moving online with his next automotive sector business.

Finn said that he was “still energised and motivated by the automotive business and the people in it” and suggested that he was keen to re-imagine new and used vehicle distribution methods for the  internet age.

“I have spent a year forming a team who have the knowledge and experience to drive the digital and resource transformation that’s required to re-engineer parts of the industry that aren’t functioning efficiently,” he said in his blog post yesterday (June 9).

Finn said that he had held discussions with a number of parties in relation to used car retailing and new car distribution models, including car manufacturers, dealer groups, fleet owners and others in formulating his new business plan.

He said that he had been able to have the kind of candid discussions that would not have happened as the CEO of Pendragon.

“Previously people were speaking to me because I was the CEO of Pendragon, now people speak to me because of the insights that my experience has given me,” he said.

The amount of investment potentially available for the sector was one element of discussions that had come as a surprise to the automotive retail sector veteran.

Just yesterday AM reported on Cazoo’s "multi-year" sponsorship deal with Premier League Football team, Everton FC, highlighting the financial clout of new digital market players who have raised cash through a series of successful funding rounds.

In September last year, meanwhile, Carwow achieved its £2 million crowdfunding target less than 60 minutes after opening the 28-day offer allowing customers and car retail partners to claim a stake in the online start-up’s future.

That was prior to the destabilising impact of COVID-19.

Finn suggested that international investors were still keen to invest in the UK automotive retain sector, however.

He said: “There are a both industry insiders who recognise the need for change and new participants who see the huge potential.

“It’s reassuring to know that the UK is still seen as a leading automotive marketplace in the eyes of international investors.”  

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