Cazoo ‘don’t understand the customer’ and are ‘doing a lot of damage’, says used car dealer

  • Used car dealer rips into Cazoo for damaging industry
  • Scott Shilcock tells Car Dealer that firm does not understand its customers
  • Portsmouth-based director calls for investigation into 300-point checks

Time 7:00 am, May 30, 2022

A used car dealer has slammed online disruptors like Cazoo and accused them of not understanding their customer base.

Scott Shilcock, from Prestige Diesels & Sports, says the firm isn’t delivering on its promises and is damaging family-run businesses.

The 52-year-old, a winner at last year’s Car Dealer Used Car Awards, said the online retailer’s actions were causing reputational harm to the industry.

Speaking exclusively to Car Dealer, Shilcock also criticised Cazoo for thinking traditional car dealers ‘don’t know what they’re doing.’

He said: ‘All these big corporate companies – like Cazoo – that are trying to make a big stand in this trade seem to think that us little car dealers don’t know what we’re doing and they’re all clever.

‘Well, I don’t think they understand the customer, basically. The sort of people that we get buying cars definitely wouldn’t be buying from there.

‘I saw the Car Dealer story recently about their 300-point checks and that really needs to be followed up by someone.

‘Companies like that are doing a lot of damage to a lot of independent garages and are not what they are.

‘There are a lot of family businesses that have been in this trade for a long time. Not all car dealers are rogues and these corporates are probably worse than half of them anyway.

‘They are telling people they have done something that they haven’t done. Everything is just about marketing to them.’

Tim Smith, Scott Shilcock, Alexis Cassey and Mike Brewer, UCA 2021

Shilcock’s views mirror sentiments expressed by other industry experts to Car Dealer earlier this month.

Among the most scathing was Steve Young, managing director at the automotive retailing research and strategy specialists ICDP.

He told Car Dealer: ‘The primary problem is that they have overpromised and underdelivered, and that is the result of fundamentally underestimating the capabilities of the competition and failing to understand the differences in buying behaviour between a car and other consumer products.

‘All start-ups are ultimately for sale (eg, Cazoo CEO Alex Chesterman’s previous ventures Lovefilm and Zoopla), and there is some value in the Cazoo business, but the only people to be disrupted by it will be the shareholders who chose to believe a PowerPoint presentation, rather than check out the real opportunity and competition first.’

Read his thoughts in full here.

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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