Tesco Cars was one of the latest Tesco sideways moves to use its vast revenues to dominate more and more business sectors in the UK. But it’s come to an ignominious end just twelve months after it was launched, piggy-backing on the existing Carsite business to try and flog used cars to customers who would rather deal with a big supermarket than a back street car lot.
It seems that the used car market is a lot tougher than Tesco expected and, just fourteen months since we reported the plans and just a year since launch, Tesco Cars is to close.
The business model – to take ex-fleet stock and sell it on to its 16 million supermarket customer base – made sense on the face of things with all buyers becoming more budget conscious. But it seems Tesco hadn’t factored in the shortage of ex-fleet models in to the equation and have discovered they can’t actually offer what they promised – 3,000 cars on sale with new ones added daily.
Tesco’s statement says:
We started Tesco Cars in good faith and we always aim to do a good job for customers.
However, following a review of the business model we and Carsite, our partner, have decided that we cannot offer customers a satisfactory range of vehicles and as a result, have decided it is right to close the business.
Which goes to show what a good job most real used car dealers do when, despite huge power and funding at its disposal, Tesco has failed to make their car site work when other professional dealers succeed.