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Cinch parent swoops for CarNext as used vehicle market remains strong

·2-min read
Avril Palmer-Baunack is Constellation’s executive chairman (Constellation Automotive Group)
Avril Palmer-Baunack is Constellation’s executive chairman (Constellation Automotive Group)

The owner of Cinch, a competitor to Cazoo, has bought a business that it said will make it become Europe’s largest online used car marketplace.

Constellation Automotive Group, also behind WeBuyAnyCar has acquired Amsterdam-headquartered CarNext, which is forecast to sell around 250,000 vehicles via its websites in 2021.

The tie-up will create a digital giant that sells more than 2.5 million cars a year.

Avril Palmer-Baunack, Constellation’s executive chairman said: “CarNext was one of the first companies in Europe to digitize the consumer used car buying experience and we are looking forward to combining the scale of our respective marketplaces to lead the digital transformation of the used car market across Europe.”

It marks the latest expansion plan by Constellation, whose majority shareholder is TDR Capital.

Earlier this year it raised £1 billion to help Cinch grow across the UK and Europe.

Cinch allows customers to part exchange their car and buy used ones fully online and have them delivered straight to their home. It is among firms to have seen high demand this year as the used car market booms.

Global semiconductor production has slowed amid supply chain and logistics issues, stymieing production and supply of new cars, prompting many customers to look at older products.

Elsewhere in the automotive sector, car dealer Marshall Motors announced a deal to buy rival showroom operator Motorline for £64.5 million.

Canterbury-based Motorline operates car showrooms for brands such as Toyota, Lexus and Hyundai via 48 franchisees.

Family-owned Motorline had sales of £695 million last year and made a profit of £6.1 million.

Shares in Marshall Motors jumped more than 8%, or 19.95p, to 261.95p.

Online used car sales portal Motorway said it was on track to hit sales of $1 billion (£730 million) over its platform this year.

The website, which was founded in 2017, sold £306 million worth of used cars in the third quarter, up more than 300% on the same period last year.

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