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eBay completes acquisition of Motors.co.uk from Cox Automotive

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eBay has completed the acquisition of Cox Automotive’s Motors.co.uk online used car classified business following approval from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) earlier this week.

A statement issued by eBay today (February 15) revealed that the Motors.co.uk team had joined Gumtree UK, an eBay Classifieds business, as part of a merger which will – together with eBay Motors UK – offer more than 620,000 online car listings.

Following on from its announcement of a plan to acquire Motors.co.uk back in October, the US-based online retail giant said in a statement that it was “creating a leading alternative to the current UK motors classifieds market leader”, adding: “This will enable car dealers in the UK to easily reach customers and give buyers access to more choice.

“In addition, the combination provides opportunities for cross-platform synergies with the eBay UK marketplace and an improved transaction experience for consumers.”

eBay’s acquisition of Cox’s Motors.co.uk business follows the earlier integration of Gumtree Motors with eBay in January 2018.

When Gumtree and eBay came together as one business the joint offering claimed to be the fastest-growing classifieds marketplace for motors in the UK, with six million users a month visiting the site’s Motors offering, while 3.7 million users a month visit eBay to look for a new car.

Matt Barham, general manager of Gumtree UK, said: “Our customers have been crying out for a value alternative to other players in the industry, and we have listened to their feedback to provide the perfect place to grow an automotive business.

“Our new-look motors proposition provides added value to dealers thanks to far-greater advertising efficiency.

“We are completely committed to the success of our all our dealers and are confident this will increase their chances of making a sale; whether they have 10 cars or 5,000.”

The sale of the Motors.co.uk business by Cox Automotive comes just a month after it joined forces with Auto Trader to drive the growth of its Dealer Auction platform.

Re-launched as a joint venture by Cox and Auto Trader, the new Dealer Auction offering brings together the established online auction of trade-in vehicles from UK franchise dealers, and Manheim Online, the online remarketing services division of Cox Automotive UK with Auto Trader’s Smart Buying (formally known as Autotrade-mail) retailer-to-retailer platform.

Commenting on the sale of the Motors.co.uk platform to eBay, Martin Forbes, the chief executive of Cox Automotive, said: “The completion of this deal is great news for Motors.co.uk. Under the new ownership of eBay, a business renowned for its strong consumer-led focus, I have full confidence that Motors.co.uk will further accelerate its growth and increase its share of the automotive classified marketplace.

“This transaction enables Cox Automotive UK to focus its resources and assets in developing our ‘Connected Retail’ proposition and build upon our strengths in the wholesale market, both physical and digital, especially with the launch of the new ‘Dealer Auction’ Platform, which will improve the speed of sale and profitability for vendors, and give buyers access to the UK’s largest wholesale marketplace”.

Since its acquisition by Cox Automotive in 2012, Motors.co.uk has more than doubled its consumer audience and the number of vehicles it advertises.

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