Cox Automotive intends to sell its consumer-facing car search business, Motors.co.uk, to eBay for an undisclosed sum.
The deal, subject to approval by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), will see Motors.co.uk join Gumtree UK, an eBay Classifieds business.
Together Motors.co.uk, Gumtree Motors UK, and eBay Motors UK will offer more than 620,000 car listings via three shop windows, to advertise and reach 10 million unique cars buyers.
Since acquisition by Cox Automotive in 2012, Motors.co.uk has more than doubled its consumer audience and the number of vehicles it advertises.
Motors.co.uk has also built a network of high-quality automotive sites including Topgear.com, Parkers.co.uk, Honest John, Autovillage and Raccars.co.uk. Combined, the Motors.co.uk network enables automotive retailers to reach more than 5.4 million unique visitors per month.
“This acquisition would finally present a viable car selling and shopping alternative for car dealers and buyers,” said Matt Barham, general manager of Gumtree UK.
“By combining Motors.co.uk’s extensive inventory, dealer engagements, traffic and cutting-edge tools and services with the considerable audience of in-market car buyers provided by eBay and Gumtree, this acquisition would give UK car dealers a significantly broader reach.”
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.”
Phill Jones, managing director at Motors.co.uk, added: “Our mission has always been to make buying and selling cars easier. The deal with eBay would allow us to take this to the next level and we’re very excited about what it potentially means for our team members, our consumers and our advertisers.”