Big Motoring World owner Peter Waddell has turned his dealer group around during the coronavirus crisis with a new reserve online and delivery service – but his next project expects to take volume used car retailing digital.
Called Carzam, the business plans to have the infrastructure to offer next-day delivery on cars – and aspirations of soon being able to get them to customers on the same day.
This is all about infrastructure, Waddell and marketing director Darren Miller emphasise, and is what sets Carzam apart from any online car dealer before.
Waddell said: ‘Our big factory up in Peterborough is a 14-acre site with 72 ramps, 10 MOT bays, 10 paint booths, four wheel refurbishments, 10 blasters, four aluminium diamond cutters – and then we’ve had to get all of these staff.
‘We’ve needed to find 350 staff. So you have to find the building, you have to invest £14m, because that’s what it cost us, and then we’ve had to get it ready.’
Carzam has been in the works for nearly 18 months and will be launching officially later in the year.
At the Peterborough site, they anticipate that thousands of cars can be prepared a month and will be ready to leave from this Amazon-style set-up pretty much immediately.
Miller explained: ‘We could build a website and put it live, that’s what we did with Big. We literally did it within a couple of weeks and added online delivery – that was it.
‘This is more than that. We’ll be able to supply the volume of cars we want not just for Big Motoring World but for Carzam as well.
‘We could have had this live a very long time ago, but we need the infrastructure – the ability to buy the cars, bring the cars in, process the cars through workshops – and because our ambition is so big, we can’t do it without having a premises like Peterborough.’
Waddell added that with a double shift, the site could be processing 8,000 or more vehicles a month.
He said: ‘We’ve sold over 1,000 cars in two weeks online. Times that by two it’s 2,000, times that by 12 that’s 24,000. And we haven’t even started yet!
‘I believe now Big Motoring World and Carzam will change the industry.’
This isn’t an end to focusing on Big Motoring World, though.
It’s very much a sister company and an opportunity for them to expand the business offering online. Previous car retailing websites that had paved the way from big brands such as Tesco and Virgin had never been profitable or lasted, commented the pair, who say they believe that their experience in volume car sales will set Carzam apart.
Miller said: ‘We believe that with all the experience we’ve got in high-volume car sales, we can apply the same principles to an online version of it, and use all of our skills of understanding what happens in the marketplace in the normal retail environment and adapt that to an online marketplace.
‘The main difference for us is we wanted to do it in volume. We’re not talking about delivering 10 cars a week, we want to be going to 30-50,000 cars a year.
‘If you can understand cars and their value, and having the experience to know that, is important. We’ve got those people with experience, who know the job.
‘The car has to have a valuation, it has to be serviced, has to be maintained and it has to be sold correctly. That’s what makes it different from selling other products.’
Carzam will go live later in the year and you can see Peter Waddell on Car Dealer Live tomorrow (May 28) at midday, when he will be discussing Carzam and Big Motoring World as well as taking your questions.
- Join our WhatsApp group to get updates sent straight to your phone. Email us via the website here to get a link to join.
- Download the latest digital edition of Car Dealer Magazine Issue 147 for free here