Used car dealer Cazoo: The people, the money and its plans – Car Dealer Investigation Video

  • Cazoo has elbowed its way onto the car dealer scene with a blitz of publicity
  • Huge sums have been splashed out on motor trade businesses and advertising
  • But where did the idea come from and who are the people behind it?
  • Our special video – which you can watch above – looks at the story behind Cazoo

Time 7:49 am, April 1, 2022

Car Dealer has released a special video investigation into online dealer Cazoo – looking at if it really will change used car sales forever.

The feature is the latest in our new series of documentaries and is also available as a podcast.

The piece delves into one of the biggest disruptors to launch in the car industry in recent years and looks at whether the firm will change used car sales forever.

The video – which you can watch above – features a wide range of industry experts including car dealers, motoring and finance specialists giving their opinion on the used car retailer.

Car Dealer also interviewed former Imperial Car Supermarkets operations director Neil Smith – who was at the firm when Cazoo bought the business in July 2020.

In the exclusive chat, which is featured in the video, Smith explains the real reasons why Cazoo wanted to buy the car supermarket.

Car Dealer met Smith at Imperial’s former site at Southampton, which is now a Cazoo handover centre.

Cazoo handover centre Southampton

‘There were probably four main factors why Cazoo wanted Imperial – none of which were what the industry thought they wanted the business for,’ Smith explains in the video.

He goes on to detail why Cazoo will be a force to be reckoned with, explains what he thinks they have done well so far and why he thinks they shouldn’t be doubted by the motor trade.

Car dealer bosses including Swansway Garages director Peter Smyth and Cambria CEO Mark Lavery are also interviewed as part of the feature.

Smyth says: ‘Like everybody I have got particular opinions on Cazoo. 

‘I don’t believe they are what they purport to be because they purport to be a disruptor. 

‘I don’t think they’re a disruptor because they have very quickly started to follow the same model that the standard motor trader has been using for the last nearly 100 years.’

Financial experts from UHY Hacker Young, as well as motor industry analysts from Zeus Capital and Liberum, look at the numbers behind Cazoo for Car Dealer in the feature.

They detail how the stock market listing worked when Cazoo reversed into an SPAC in the States and experts give their opinion on why the firm’s share price has dropped since it listed.

At one point, shares in Cazoo were down 70 per cent.

Cazoo Northampton

We also look at where the idea for Cazoo came from, how it works and what, if anything, makes it different to traditional car dealers.

And our experts give their opinions on the firm’s mercurial founder Alex Chesterman who has made millions for the business already.

We look at where he made his money and how he is believed to have cashed in shares worth £100m soon after the business listed in the States.

Carwow founder James Hind told our video that Chesterman’s reputation helps him generate cash from the city. 

‘I think he could raise money with whatever he was doing, whatever sector, because of that track record and the rarity of that kind of track record in London,’ Hind tells us in the video.

Chesterman was an angel investor in Carwow in its early stages.

You can watch the video below or listen to it as a Podcast now by searching for ‘Car Dealer Investigations’ on your favourite Podcast platform.

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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