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Cazoo closes Northern sites as £200m savings drive continues

cazoocustomercentre-manchester

Online car retailer Cazoo’s Newcastle and Bishop Auckland sites have closed as the disruptive auto retailer continues restructuring.

Earlier this month, Automotive Management reported that 15 of the retailer’s physical car handover sites had been removed from its website with staff informed of a series of site closures. The two North East sites are now showing as “permanently closed” on Google.

The closures leave Manchester as the retailer’s sole operating site in the North, with a further six sites still reported active in Birmingham, Bristol, Chertsey, Lakeside, Northampton and Wembley.

The Bishop Auckland site had opened in 2020 when Cazoo acquired the Imperial Cars car supermarket, with Newcastle following the next year.

Cazoo experienced rapid growth following launch in 2019, and was valued at $7bn (over £5.2bn) when it was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in August 2021. That same year it faced pre-tax losses of £334m, however, which led to a withdrawal of the business from EU countries.

The online car dealer announced plans last June to cut costs by £200m by the end of 2023, and ended its reported £10m-a-season shirt sponsorship deal with Everton ahead of the beginning of the 2022/23 season after an initial two-year deal.

The company is due to report FY results to the NYSE on March 30, and founder and CEO Alex Chesterman suggested in a business update earlier this month that the restructuring is going ahead as planned, and may even be complete by the end of the month: “I am very pleased with our progress and performance so far in 2023 despite the challenging economic backdrop,” he said. “Strong results year-to-date are driven by the swift and decisive management action to progress with restructuring of the group. We are executing at pace on our revised plan to rapidly improve our unit economics, reduce our fixed cost base and maximize our cash runway. The rightsizing of our headcount and operational footprint is well progressed and we expect to complete the restructuring before the end of Q1 2023. At the same time, we have seen significant improvement in our GPU, given the renewed focus on our unit economics.”

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