Robert Hazelwood, left, and Matt BennsRobert Hazelwood, left, and Matt Benns

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Top car industry execs to run imaging and software firm after buy-out by Citygate

  • Auto.Works to be led by Robert Hazelwood and Matt Benns
  • It follows Citygate Holdings taking ownership of AutoLoadIT
  • Business aims to revolutionise how new and used vehicles are presented online

Time 2:24 pm, June 26, 2024

Senior execs from the car industry are spearheading a new business that specialises in imaging, software and turntables.

Robert Hazelwood – a non-executive director of Citygate Automotive who was also a CEO of Inchcape – will lead Auto.Works as MD, joined by Matt Benns, who held various senior roles at Volkswagen UK, Seat and Mazda, as its chief operating officer.

Auto.Works is the new name for AutoLoadIT, which was established in 2011. Citygate Holdings – the holding company for dealership chain Citygate Automotive – took ownership of AutoLoadIT this month, and with the new management comes a new strategy and direction.

It says it is set to revolutionise how new and used vehicles are presented online.

Tried-and-tested UK-built turntable and imaging products from the established AutoLoadIT business will be combined with a new team of strategic, digital, data and retail specialists.

Hazelwood said: ‘Here in the UK, over 9m new and used cars were sold last year.

‘Selling these cars quickly and effectively is key to manufacturers and retailers alike.

‘The Auto.Works marketing solution makes light work of the traditional time-consuming marketing process.’

The business will also be supported by the Citygate Holdings board of Jonathan Smith (owner of Citygate and ex-divisional director of H.R. Owen), Connor McCormack (past CEO of Inchcape Retail), Sarah Sillars (ex-CEO and executive chairman of the IMI) and Graham Wheeler (ex-CEO Volkswagen Financial Services).

The business is currently working across 26 countries with some of Europe’s largest retailers, car supermarkets and leasing companies, capturing more than 100,000 high-definition images each day and with more than 18,000 vehicles going online every month.

Benns, who was also a global partner director at the UK division of CDK Global, said: ‘We offer an end-to-end solution – turntable technology, colour-perfect lighting studios, hand-held imaging apps, all providing the highest-quality images and video.

‘Adding these images to our data management portal, we ensure easy, automated and time-saving collection, collation and multi-website transfer.’

Pictured at top are Robert Hazelwood, left, and Matt Benns

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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