One industry that has been receiving increasing amounts of media attention since lockdown measures began to ease has been the car sales market. With showrooms back open and renewed interest from the press in the thriving EV market, brands from traditional used car dealers through to the next generation of agile automotive start-ups have been vying for column inches and a share of this media interest.
Across a variety of sectors, the pandemic has accelerated trends that were beginning to take shape well before restrictions took hold. How we purchase, own and use products and services has undertaken a radical transformation and many businesses, particularly in the car sales sector, have been well placed to capitalise on this. Both buyers and sellers have placed increasing importance on convenience, contact-free transactions and flexible usage/payment terms and early signs indicate that these factors will remain key when it comes to purchasing decisions.
Here we shine a spotlight on several of the UK start-ups who are leading the revolution of the car sales industry.
Tech-enabled convenience has been one of the trends that has characterised the pandemic and Motorway’s innovative comparison platform offers exactly that. Disrupting what has traditionally been a hugely inefficient industry, the brand’s innovative platform streamlines the car sales process on both sides of the chain. Consumers can upload their vehicles safe in the knowledge that they are getting the best possible price before Motorway then organise a free home collection, all without paying a dime.
Backed by investors such as Marchmont Ventures and LocalGlobe, the brand has raised over £14m since its launch in 2017 and recorded its best year to date last year with revenue increasing more than three-fold. With the digital transformation of the automotive industry set to continue and Motorway’s team expanding further, 2021 is going to be a pivotal year as the brand looks to consolidate on its success throughout the pandemic.
Readers may be familiar with Cinch following a widespread TV advertising campaign fronted by the X Factor’s Rylan Clark-Neal. Offering a digital service that’s as convenient as the TV personality’s teeth are white, the business’ mission is simple – to remove all of the obstacles that make buying and selling cars a chore.
With plans to IPO later this year Cinch have embarked on a number of high-profile marketing campaigns recently, signing sponsorship deals with the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, the LTA and the ECB. The result of their float will be fascinating to observe and the level of investor interest in the brand has the potential to truly validate the post-COVID application of a digital first contact free model in the automotive industry.
Specialising in electric vehicles, WeVee are another brand implementing technology to overcome some of the traditional obstacles being faced by the industry. EV adoption has been on the rise for several years now with manufacturers going to great lengths to address challenges surrounding range anxiety however issues remain regarding the prohibitive cost of entry in to this market and the lack of education around switching.
WeVee’s flexible leasing solution makes it as easy as possible for consumers and businesses to make more conscious and environmentally friendly decisions when it comes to their mobility needs. Their tech-led platform allows users to browse the entire EV market in one place, learn more about switching before selecting a deal that’s right for them. The firm has already helped over 800 people switch and are scaling up operations as EV demand continues to soar.
You can read more about our work with EV leasing firm Octopus Electric Vehicles here.
Founded in Sydney, Splend made the leap to the UK back in 2019. Helping support our transition to Electric Vehicles, Splend provide vehicles, training and support to on-demand drivers, helping them find work that fits around their lifestyle and helping maximise their earning potential.
Since moving its HQ to Aldgate, Splend have placed significant focus on their UK expansion, looking to capitalise on the booming ride-hailing market. Splend’s main partner is Uber however they also provide support for drivers at firms including Kapten, ViaVan and Bolt.
One of the most exciting names in the UK’s growing sharing economy, Hiyacar is a specialise peer-to-peer (P2P) car sharing platform. Founded in 2015 and now active in London, Brighton and Bristol (soon to be joined by Edinburgh) the business has created a community of over 60,000 members since its launch in 2016.
Enabling car owners to make additional income when they’re not using their vehicles while also giving drivers a flexible means of travelling without the burden of owning their own car, Hiyacar’s solution is a real win:win. With lockdown restrictions easing and consumers looking for more flexible solutions than outright ownership, 2021 is set to be a big year for the business.
If your automotive business is looking for support with its disruptive mission, get in touch with our team of experts today to discuss how we could help.