Volvo Cars has taken a strategic minority stake in carwow, a leading online marketplace for buying and selling cars, through the Volvo Cars Tech Fund, its venture capital arm. Carwow has experienced considerable growth in recent years, and is now one of the market leaders in the UK, Germany and Spain for online sales of new cars.
Through the investment, Volvo Cars says it will gain valuable insights in areas such as online sales, customer acquisition and content creation, which will help its shift towards online and direct customer relationships.
The equity investment is the next step in the existing partnership between Volvo Cars and carwow, which includes collaborations on Volvo Cars’ subscription service as well as driving traffic and sales leads to Volvo Cars and its retail partners.
Headquartered in London, carwow employs over 400 people in the UK, Germany, Portugal and Spain with the backing of some of the most prestigious technology and automotive investors, including Balderton Capital, Accel, Vitruvian Partners, Episode1, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo.
Lex Kerssemakers, chief commercial officer at Volvo Cars, says: “Third-party marketplaces play a key role in any consumer industry, which includes the competitive landscape of Volvo Cars. We were one of the first car manufacturers committed to shift to online sales and through this strategic partnership, we will learn and gain insights into online buying behaviour. Our collaboration with carwow will help us and our retail partners grow volumes and reach our target of selling around half of our volume online by 2025.”
“Volvo Cars and carwow have the same ambitions: to make buying a car online easy and seamless and help consumers switch to electric cars,” adds Alexander Petrofski, head of the Volvo Cars Tech Fund. “Our investment in carwow is a good example of how the Volvo Cars Tech Fund aims to support the overall strategic direction of the company.”
As of December 2020, Volvo Cars employed approximately 40,000 full-time employees. Volvo Cars’ head office, product development, marketing and administration functions are mainly located in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Volvo Cars’ production plants are located in Gothenburg (Sweden), Ghent (Belgium), South Carolina (US), Chengdu, Daqing and Taizhou (China). The company also has R&D and design centres in Gothenburg, Camarillo (US), Sunnyvale (US) and Shanghai (China).