eBay purchase of used car business Motors.co.uk approved by UK authorities

21 February 2019

21 February 2019 Auction website eBay has completed the acquisition of Cox Automotive’s Motors.co.uk internet-based used car business. The online giant first announced plans to purchase the brand in October 2018. However, the move was subject to an investigation by the UK Competition and Markets Authority as eBay also owns the classified adverts website Gumtree. Approval for the purchase has now been granted. In a statement, eBay said: ′The Motors.co.uk team has joined Gumtree UK, an eBay Classifieds business, and, together with eBay Motors UK, will offer more than 620,000 car listings seamlessly across these platforms creating a leading alternative to the current UK motors classifieds market leader. This will enable car dealers in the UK to easily reach customers and give buyers access to more choice. Also, the combination provides opportunities for cross-platform synergies with the eBay UK marketplace and an improved transaction experience for consumers.’ Following the October announcement, the US-based online business said that it wanted to create a ′leading alternative to the current UK motors classifieds market leader,’ believing that the purchase would enable car dealers in the country to easily reach more customers, while buyers would have access to more choice. ′In addition, the combination provides opportunities for cross-platform synergies with the eBay UK marketplace and an improved transaction experience for consumers.’ eBay’s acquisition of Cox’s Motors.co.uk business follows the earlier integration of Gumtree Motors with eBay in January 2018. The company has seen the online vehicle classifieds market as a lucrative business opportunity and now can bring all three of its online shops together to provide a wide-ranging platform for used car sales through the internet. When Gumtree and eBay came together as one business, the joint offering claimed to be the fastest-growing classifieds marketplace for cars in the UK, with six million users a month visiting the site’s Motors offering, while 3.7 million users a month visit eBay to look for a new car. Martin Forbes, CEO of Cox Automotive, said: ′The whole team at Motors.co.uk has done an incredible job growing the business and it isn’t surprising that it has attracted the attention of eBay, one of the world’s most well-known e-commerce companies. The deal with eBay is great news for Motors.co.uk and would enable the business, the brand and the team to grow under new ownership where the focus is more consumer-led. For Cox Automotive, it would enable us to focus on building upon our strengths in the wholesale market and in supporting dealers, OEMs, Fleet and Leasing customers with a ″connected retail″ proposition.’ The sale of the Motors.co.uk business by Cox Automotive comes just a month after it joined forces with Auto Trader to drive the growth of its Dealer Auction platform.