The automotive sector ended 2021 and started 2022 in a lively fashion with some significant events. I have picked out a few articles that cover some of these.

Acquisition and Disposal

Probably the most significant two events both involved TDR Capital. The leading private equity firm bought Marshall Motor Group, through its Constellation business, the group behind BCA, WeBuyAnyCar and Cinch.

Details were reported here.

This is a big deal because it means the group now occupies all segments of the non-manufacturing automotive sector. Which is why I was a bit surprised when it was announced that TDR had sold most of their shareholding in LeasePlan.

Details were reported here.

I thought that with the advent of their consumer leasing products, they would leverage the Constellation capability to move, full steam ahead, into mobility services. But shortly afterwards, the new owner, Société Générale, reported the tie up between ALD and LeasePlan to create a ‘mobility giant’.

Details were reported here. Now it makes sense!

Direct Sales Through the Agency Model

Obviously I can’t write an article without mentioning Agency. I will issue a health warning for this article because it seems like, in my opinion, that survey results often reflect the views of the groups that commission them.

But here it is anyway.

What ever you think about the topic, the ripple of OEMs looking at it has become a wave of OEMs implementing it. The survey indicates customers may also like the idea of transacting direct with the Brand, with a ‘no haggle’ price.

The transition is very complex so the sector is only just at the beginning of a long journey. The complexity is illustrated in my recent article.

Customer Focussed Product Development

Ernie Garcia, Founder and CEO of the US used car operation, Carvana wrote a nice article about how they ‘reimagined the automotive customer experience It is said that Carvana is the inspiration behind its UK equivalent, Cazoo, so worth a read.

All Change

And finally, the obvious point is that the industry is changing at a rate of knots never seen before. But Andy Goss, Vertu Motors Chair, posted a helpful article encouraging those in all parts of the industry to embrace rather than fight change. I’m biased but couldn’t agree more.