Cazoo SouthamptonCazoo Southampton


Exclusive: Snows poised to take over flagship Cazoo used car site in Southampton

  • Snows negotiating with landlord about taking on lease of huge Cazoo site
  • Dealer group plans to turn it into Snows Used Car Centre
  • Cazoo site already listed as ‘permanently closed’ on Google

Time 7:52 am, March 3, 2023

South Coast dealer group Snows is in advanced discussions to take over the lease of Cazoo’s flagship customer centre in Southampton.

The firm confirmed exclusively to Car Dealer that talks with the owner – Kent County Council – were in the ‘final stages’.

The Cazoo site on the Millbrook Trading Estate is in a prime position next to the busy A33 and very close to a large collection of Snows Motor Group dealerships including Volvo, Fiat and Cupra.

Snows is not believed to be negotiating with Cazoo on the deal.

Alex Domone, chief operating officer of Snows, told Car Dealer: ‘Snows can confirm that they are in the final stages of acquiring the existing Cazoo Customer Centre in Southampton, with anticipated opening as a Snows Used Car Centre from early April.’

It’s believed the Snows Used Car Centre brand will become a bigger part of the group’s set up and the 250-300 car showroom in Southampton will be pivotal to the move.

The site was the jewel in the crown of the Imperial Car Supermarkets portfolio which Cazoo acquired in the summer of 2020.

A large number of Cazoo delivery trucks were based there as well as customer care staff in offices above the main handover centre.

The online used car dealer spent millions rebranding the dealerships and the Southampton store – pictured above – was heavily modified with a huge sign erected on the corner of the building. 

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When Car Dealer visited the centre, while filming our documentary (below) on the disruptor, we looked around inside to see work stations set up for visiting customers, a refreshment bar and computers installed for customers to browse stock.

It is thought Snows intends to reconfigure the site to allow it to show off a huge range of used cars from its portfolio of 52 dealerships that represent 20 different brands.

Snows dealers include BMW, Mini, Volvo, Toyota, Lexus and a variety of Stellantis brands. Profits for Snows rose 180 per cent in 2021 to £7.5m on turnover of £486m. It was 47th in the Car Dealer Top 100 list of most profitable dealers.

Cazoo is currently consulting with staff about closing 15 of its 22 handover centres which it opened as part of its ill-fated growth plans. 

A Google listing for the Southampton site says it is already ‘permanently closed’. The consultation period ends tomorrow.

Staff have shared with Car Dealer their redundancy terms which show many will get enhanced payments when they leave the business. An announcement on the closures as Cazoo’s results for 2022 are expected imminently.

Earlier this week Car Dealer revealed that Arnold Clark had acquired two Cazoo centres in Northampton and Chertsey for £10.5m. Cazoo had not scheduled these sites for closure and Arnold Clark plans to lease them back to Cazoo.

Car Dealer also broke the news earlier this month that Peter Vardy was in advanced talks to acquire Cazoo’s customer centre in Grangemouth and its Livingston prep centre.

Cazoo is rapidly selling off businesses it acquired over the last few years. It has also sold its operations in Germany, Italy and Spain, shut down its car subscription business and is in the process of selling off a large proportion of its prep centres too. Last week it sold its data business Cazana

Cazoo has been contacted for comment.

James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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