Volvo Cars has taken a strategic minority stake in carwow, a leading online marketplace for buying and selling cars, through the Volvo Cars Tech Fund, its venture capital arm.
As a leading platform in Europe for buying new cars and helping consumers sell their current car online, carwow has experienced considerable growth in recent years and is now one of the market leaders in the UK, Germany and Spain for online sales of new cars.
Through the investment, Volvo Cars will gain valuable insights in areas such as online sales, customer acquisition and content creation, which will help its shift towards online and direct customer relationships.
The equity investment is the next step in the existing partnership between Volvo Cars and carwow, which includes collaborations on Volvo Cars’ subscription service as well as driving traffic and sales leads to Volvo Cars and its retail partners.
“Third-party marketplaces play a key role in any consumer industry, which includes the competitive landscape of Volvo Cars,” said Lex Kerssemakers, chief commercial officer at Volvo Cars. “We were one of the first car manufacturers committed to shift to online sales and through this strategic partnership, we will learn and gain insights into online buying behaviour. Our collaboration with carwow will help us and our retail partners grow volumes and reach our target of selling around half of our volume online by 2025.”
Volvo Cars’ move towards online sales is integral to its aim of becoming a global leader in the fast-growing premium electric segment with millions of direct consumer relationships. Its online sales strategy is based on changing consumer behaviours and industry trends in combination with its ambition to be a leading pure electric car brand by 2030.
The company’s focus on online sales and direct customer relationships includes creating a simple and hassle-free experience for ordering Volvo products and services, with transparent pricing and product information, as well as clarity on delivery times through its online store on volvocars.com.
“Volvo Cars and carwow have the same ambitions: to make buying a car online easy and seamless and help consumers switch to electric cars,” said Alexander Petrofski, head of the Volvo Cars Tech Fund. “Our investment in carwow is a good example of how the Volvo Cars Tech Fund aims to support the overall strategic direction of the company.”
As one of the leading online marketplace for new cars across the UK, Germany and Spain, carwow is headquartered in London and employs over 400 people across Europe. Having started life as a reviews aggregator, it has also become one of the most influential names in consumer car media. Its automotive channel on YouTube has over six million subscribers and counting.
Financial details of the Volvo Cars Tech Fund investment in carwow were not disclosed.