Independent online car buying website carwow will enter the French market from July.
In 2016 carwow entered into the German market, and the company also has plans to expand to the market in Spain. Carwow’s international projects follow from a £30m investment into the company by private equity firm Vitruvian Partners in July 2017.
Currently carwow receives 2 million visitors a month and is used by more than one third of manufacturer-approved UK franchised dealerships. The company also works with manufacturers and large dealership groups as a source of business intelligence to inform tactical marketing, stocking and pricing activity.
Operations in the French carwow business will be led by Thibault Penicaut, who was formerly the country manager of MotorK France from 2015. Of the carwow launch in France, Penicaut said: “We are incredibly excited to be bringing this forward thinking proposition to the French market. Carwow stands to offer unprecedented benefits to both French buyers and dealers alike, and is well placed to fundamentally improve the car buying market in France”.
James Hind, founder and chief executive officer of carwow, said: “The demand for the carwow offering is growing all the time as both buyers and dealers encounter the same fundamental challenges in Europe and further afield. It feels like a sensible and natural progression for us to extend our proposition to other markets.”
Carwow’s UK operation recently moved to a new London headquarters at Victoria, where its 140 staff are based.
Last year a carwow survey found 90% of under-30s would use finance deals if buying a new car, compared to only 30% of over-55s.