Peter Smyth on what went wrong for failed used car dealer Cazooo

Peter Smyth, the director of Swansway, provided a scathing review of Cazoo and its founder, Alex Chesterman. The failed used car dealer, which spent heavily over the years, is now in administration.

Cazoo, the once-promising online used car retailer, faced several challenges that ultimately led to its downfall.

Smyth believes the outcome should not be surprising. Appearing on the Car Dealer Podcast, he criticized Cazoo’s flawed model and called its original plans “a work of complete fiction.”

In a recent episode of the Car Dealer Podcast, Smyth criticized Chesterman’s plans, which included selling more cars than Arnold Clark and employing individuals with no industry knowledge.

Smyth also expressed skepticism about Cazoo’s heavy spending on sponsorships and its ability to build a brand overnight. Ultimately, Cazoo’s financial struggles did not surprise him. In another interview, Smyth highlighted how Chesterman’s digital approach had forced his own business to improve its game. Smyth isn’t mincing words when it comes to Cazoo!

Cazoo engaged in aggressive spending, sponsoring various events and sports teams. However, this strategy didn’t translate into sustainable profits. Margins in the car industry are thin, and Cazoo’s spending spree didn’t align with its financial reality, says Car Dealer Magazine.

Despite its high valuation in 2021, Cazoo never turned a profit. According to the BBC the company struggled to find a sustainable business model that would allow it to thrive in the competitive used car market.

In the face of major cash flow challenges, Cazoo entered administration. It’s now trying to sell off unwanted assets to streamline the business. The switch to an online marketplace model came too late to save the company, says Startups.

Overall, Cazoo’s overambitious goals, heavy spending, and failure to achieve profitability contributed to its demise. The used car market is tough, and Cazoo couldn’t swim against the current.

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