The UK’s established used car retail operators will continue to dominate the sector after ramping up their breadth of services to see off new market disruptors such as Cazoo and cinch, iVendi has said.
The online vehicle finance specialist senior vice-president of international business and banking Alliances, Paul Bennett, has asserted that, while well-funded digital disruptors will drive change legacy retailers and lenders would start to match or exceed the services offered by newcomers.
“The really appealing aspect of the arrival of new and exciting digital used car retailers is that they are catalysts for change,” he said.
“Rapidly becoming household names, their vast marketing spend is helping to educate and facilitate a transformation in consumer thinking when purchasing a car online.
“Make no mistake, these disruptors are agile, fast-moving, and here to stay, helping to bring about genuine movement in a used car sector that hasn’t fundamentally changed a great deal in over 100 years.
“However, while we are certain that many of them will enjoy commercial success, we are also confident that the overall winners will be established players across Europe – traditional dealers working in partnership with their financiers will triumph in the race to dominate digital, automotive retailing.
“The reason for this is simple - they are able to provide consumers with the best of both worlds. That means a hybrid, digital and physical experience, something which is exactly what the overwhelming majority of car buyers want today and arguably, will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.”
Two years ago Buyacar chief executive Andy Oldham told and AM Roundtable discussion that the emergence of Cazoo – with its vast marketing power – would serve to raise awareness of online car retail, to the benefit of the wider sector.
Oldham said: “(Cazoo founder) Alex Chesterman is going all out on marketing and that can only help make consumers aware of the option of buying online.
“That will feed business into alternative platforms like ours and other car retailers that are ready to embrace that opportunity.”
But established car retailers have also ramped-up their presence in the omnichannel space, particularly in response to the remote selling rules established in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bennett said: “The need to provide customers with a fully connected digital and physical journey is no longer a ‘nice to have’ but rather an essential if the traditional players are to continue to enjoy commercial success, remain relevant in modern day retailing and futureproof their positions.
“Providing the consumer with the best of digital and physical experiences will ultimately win out and this is the area where iVendi has been concentrating its efforts with our ‘Connected Retail’ technology concept, which has already been adopted by several major lenders and their dealers.”