Home » Acceleration in online car buying an opportunity and threat for Auto Trader

Acceleration in online car buying an opportunity and threat for Auto Trader

by LLT Editor
26th May 22 9:55 am

Revenue up 65% to £432.7 million (lapping a very weak comparator in 2021 due to COVID-related discounts), and up 17% on 2020.

Average Revenue Per Retailer (ARPR) per month was up £886 to £2,210 on average per month (2021: £1,324). Excluding COVID-19 discounts in the prior year, underlying ARPR increased by £247 per month, with growth across Price, Product and Stock lines.

Operating profit up 88% to £303.6 million (2021: £161.2 million) and up 17% on 2020. Cross platform visits up 9% to 63.8 million per month on average (2021: 58.3 million).

Charlie Huggins, Head of Equities at Wealth Club, commented: “Auto Trader continues to motor, with revenues and profits increasing by 17% on the same period two years ago (a better comparison than last year which was impacted by COVID-related discounts).

“The group has benefitted from a strong used car market, with healthy demand from consumers and supply shortages. Despite the increasingly competitive market backdrop, visits to Auto Trader’s site rose to record levels, with market share of over 75%. It’s the first-place consumers go when looking for a used car, and that makes it a ‘must have’ for any car dealer.

“The pandemic has accelerated changes we were already seeing in the way people buy cars. The days of trudging from one forecourt to the next, trying to avoid dodgy car salesmen, are gone. More of the car buying journey is taking place online and for Auto Trader, this is both a threat and an opportunity. It’s a threat because it potentially weakens the power of traditional car dealerships, Auto Trader’s key customers, at the expense of new online entrants like Cazoo and Cinch.

“But the size of the pie has also got bigger. If Auto Trader can provide an end-to-end online car buying journey for its customers, it will become the key part of the transaction, rather than just a middleman. That should make Auto Trader even more important to its customers and provide scope to charge for new services like financing.

“It’s still too early to say how all this will play out. Competition has never been more intense and what the used car landscape will look like in 5 or 10 years is unclear. Fortunately the strength of Auto the Trader means it has as good a chance as any of exploiting the opportunity on offer.”

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