EBAY has signed an agreement with Cox Automotive to acquire Motors.co.uk.
If various necessary approvals are given and other conditions are met, Motors.co.uk would become part of Gumtree UK, an eBay classifieds business.
Combining the inventory, customer relationships and traffic available on Gumtree UK, eBay Motors UK and Motors.co.uk, along with Motors.co.uk’s tools and services, would ‘help UK car dealers increase their leads and bring buyers more choice and value’ it said.
The acquisition would also jointly position Motors.co.uk, Gumtree UK, and eBay Motors UK — which together offer more than 620,000 car listings — as a leading alternative to the current UK motors market leader, Auto Trader.
The move builds on the joint offering of Gumtree UK Motors and eBay UK Motors that launched in January 2018.
Matt Barham, general manager of Gumtree UK, said: ‘This acquisition would finally present a viable car selling and shopping alternative for car dealers and buyers.
‘By combining Motors.co.uk’s extensive inventory, dealer engagements, traffic and cutting-edge tools and services with the considerable audience of in-market car buyers provided by eBay and Gumtree, this acquisition would give UK car dealers a significantly broader reach.’
Motors.co.uk, a subsidiary of Cox Automotive, is one of the UK’s largest dealer-facing brands, with more than 350,000 used car listings on its platform.
Its robust suite of tools is tailored specifically to the automotive industry, helping more than 5,000 of the UK’s leading car dealers to sell their cars, use buyer data in marketing and pricing decisions, and expand their reach through a large syndication network.
Martin Forbes, chief executive of Cox Automotive, said: ‘The whole team at Motors.co.uk has done an incredible job growing the business, and it isn’t surprising that it has attracted the attention of eBay, one of the world’s most well-known e-commerce companies.
‘The deal with eBay is great news for Motors.co.uk and would enable the business, the brand and the team to grow under new ownership where the focus is more consumer-led. For Cox Automotive, it would enable us to focus on building upon our strengths in the wholesale market and in supporting dealers, OEMs, and fleet and leasing customers with a “connected retail” proposition.’
Phill Jones, managing director at Motors.co.uk, added: ‘Our mission has always been to make buying and selling cars easier. The deal with eBay would allow us to take this to the next level and we’re very excited about what it potentially means for our team members, our consumers and our advertisers.’
The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals in the UK and other conditions, and is expected to close before the end of March 2019.