Published in: 
Car Dealer Magazine
20 March 2023

Motom’s Julian Humphreys criticises Cazoo for ‘casting aside loyal people’ as part of brutal cost-cutting mission

Car Dealer Podcast episode 99

An industry expert has criticised troubled used car dealer Cazoo for the impact its financial meltdown is having on employees.

Last week, Car Dealer reported that staff at the firm’s Westbury vehicle preparation site were saying their final goodbyes at an emotional farewell party.

The former Smart Fleet Solutions premises closed its doors for good on Friday, with workers hitting out at Cazoo bosses for their handling of the site.

Speaking on the latest edition of the Car Dealer Podcast, sponsored by CarGurus PistonHeads, expert guest Julian Humphreys expressed sympathy with all those affected by the outfit’s ongoing programme of cuts.

The founder of remarketing platform Motom described the Westbury closure as ‘horrible’ and accused Cazoo of ‘casting loyal people aside’.

He told hosts James Baggott and Jon Raey: ‘Real people are being affected by it.

‘They were loyal to the Smart Fleet brand to start off with, and by the sounds of it they’re clearly loyal to the brand today.

‘They were also loyal to the Cazoo brand for a period of time and they then get tossed aside when a strategy doesn’t work.

‘Real people get harmed by it.’

He added:  ‘That’s got an instant impact, right now. Some loyal workers' lives are changing and that cuts me.

‘The closing of the prep site cuts hard and heavy with real people today. If people on the front line are losing jobs then that is always a horrible place to be.’

Motom looking to improve ten-fold after promising start

Among the other topics up for discussion on this week’s podcast was the ongoing success of Humphreys’ Motom venture.

The vehicle remarketing platform launched nine months ago and now had around 500 dealers using its services.

Explaining how the software works, Humphreys said:  ‘The platform is a wholesale platform which allows dealers and vendors, which might be leasing companies, rental companies, large fleets or fleet management companies, to buy and sell vehicles between themselves in a frictionless way.

‘It’s a technology platform that connects buyers and sellers. Effectively the platform does a lot of the searching that historically dealers and sellers have had to do themselves.

‘If a buyer is looking to buy a blue BMW, for arguments sake, in a particular model, they’d need to scroll through websites and maybe catalogues to try and find their sweet spot.

‘What we do is the tech does the work so that when one of those vehicles hits the platform they instantly know and they can make an offer within two clicks and make a buying commitment within two clicks as well.’

Humphreys also told Car Dealer that despite the encouraging start, the company is still some way off where it wants to be.

The firm is working towards a target of having 5,000 dealers on its platform – ten times the levels it is currently operating at.

He added: ‘To go from a standing start less than nine months ago to 500, I think we’ve done okay, but what brings more dealers to us will be our access to stock and the type of stock that we can share with our users.

‘I think what happens is once we hit that sweet spot with the right amount of stock coming on, we will get that snowball effect in terms of new users.

‘You are chicken and egg when you build a platform like Motom. If you haven’t got the users then you can’t get the sellers, but if you haven’t got the sellers then you can’t get the users.

‘We have spent a lot of time building that user base, and now we are starting to see the ability of vehicles to hit the platform.

‘We will hit a sweet spot in the next few weeks in terms of stock coming through.’

You can listen to the Car Dealer Podcast episode here.

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