Renault acquires stake in heycar

14 September 2021

Renault Group and its subsidiary RCI Bank and Services have acquired an equity stake in Mobility Trader Holding to get involved in the development of the heycar platform. The OEM is particularly interested in the launch of the online used-car site in its home market of France.

As an online retailer, heycar represents a large number of dealers across various brands at roughly 5,000 locations, with more than 380,000 used vehicles. The platform, launched back in 2017 in Germany, is owned by Volkswagen Group and Daimler in cooperation with the country’s dealer association, Volkswagen und Audi Partnerverband (VAPV). It has expanded in recent years, kick-starting operations in the UK in 2019 and Spain in 2020.

Click for used cars

Once dominated by forecourts and newspaper adverts, the used-car market is undergoing a digital revolution. In April this year, Driverama began setting up shop as Europe’s first-ever online, borderless, used-car retailer. Then, in June, Stellantis and Spoticar launched the UK’s first multi-brand, approved used-car programme. Now, Renault is making its own move into the virtual retail space.

The carmaker hopes the acquisition will strengthen its presence in the used-car market, backed by a ‘high-quality digital experience’. The company will also help develop heycar in France by introducing Carizy to the project. The C2C intermediation startup was acquired by Renault in 2018 and has experienced strong growth in sales volumes in France. Meanwhile, RCI will offer financing and services adapted to the needs of used-car customers.

A key player

‘We are very pleased with this project with heycar, which in just a few years has become a key player in the online distribution of used vehicles. This agreement is in line with Renault Group’s strategy to increase value creation at each stage of the vehicle life cycle,’ said Luca de Meo, Renault CEO.

‘In line with the Re-Factory – the project to convert the Flins plant into a dedicated site for the circular economy of mobility – through this partnership we intend to strengthen the competitiveness of our sales network across the entire used-vehicle value chain: from procurement to after-sales, including reconditioning, marketing and sales of financing and services,’ he concluded.  

The acquisition is expected to reach completion in the fourth quarter of 2021, subject to applied conditions. This should include a presentation to the respective boards and the employee representative bodies in France, in accordance with regulations and the approval of the relevant competition authorities.