“Doomed to fail”: How Cazoo burned £1.4 billion on a lost cause

News that cash-strapped used car retailer Cazoo is abandoning its signature home-delivery service to set up as a classified site to rival Autotrader was met with derision in an industry it once claimed to disrupt and now wishes to court.

As former Cazoo employees rushed to LinkedIn to switch their profiles to the green-ringed ‘open to work’ setting, others in the industry took to the opportunity to gloat at the downfall of a company that was once worth billions but had never turned a profit.

“No boss in our trade would accept ‘don’t worry – the company is worth £6 billion’ as an excuse for such losses, dire management decisions and total lack of basic motor trade business application,” wrote Philip Wade, franchise and development director at Stoneacre Motor Group.

Another poster pointed out that founder Alex Chesterman had burnt bridges with his mission statement to make car purchasing “simple and convenient whilst adding transparency and quality to an industry which suffers from a lack of consumer trust”.

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