CarGurus, a leading global automotive marketplace, and Haymarket Media Group, a specialist international media company, today announced they have signed an agreement for CarGurus to acquire used car motoring website PistonHeads. The acquisition is another step in CarGurus’ plans to accelerate growth and expand its consumer audience in the UK, where it launched in 2015.
Following completion of the acquisition, CarGurus intends to operate PistonHeads as an independent brand, maintaining the site’s popular community and content, while applying CarGurus’ technology to enhance the site experience for users. CarGurus also plans to offer its dealership listings services across platforms to improve choice for UK automotive buyers and drive increased value and efficiencies for CarGurus’ dealership and manufacturer customers.
PistonHeads was founded in 1999 and acquired by Haymarket Media Group in 2007, under whose ownership it has seen extraordinary growth. The website is known around the world for its large and devoted online motoring community, distinctive editorial tone and bustling used car marketplace.
CarGurus, founded in the US in 2006 by TripAdvisor co-founder Langley Steinert, is an automotive shopping website that uses advanced technology and analytics to bring trust and transparency to the car shopping process. The company is now the largest online automotive marketplace in the U.S. by monthly unique visitors*, and the fastest growing automotive marketplace in the UK by monthly unique visitors**.
Haymarket CEO Kevin Costello said: “Over the past 18 months we have invested significantly in our new and nearly-new car offer. The What Car? New Car platform is our primary focus as we continue to develop our New Car buying technology further. It is important that PistonHeads has a home with a company that can advance its unique place in the used car marketplace. CarGurus is well placed to make the important investments that will continue the rapid growth that PistonHeads has enjoyed under our ownership. I have no doubt the brand will be in good hands.”
CarGurus COO Sam Zales said: “CarGurus’ momentum in the UK continues to build, and aligning the CarGurus and PistonHeads brands enables us to accelerate our audience growth, and continue to innovate our transparent marketplace. For dealers in the UK, this combination will make CarGurus an even more compelling platform that can help them connect with a larger audience of used car buyers at an attractive ROI.”
CarGurus CEO Langley Steinert added: “PistonHeads is one of the UK’s most trusted and influential digital motoring brands, and we see it as a perfect fit with our own consumer-centric model and pioneering ethos. We look forward to applying CarGurus’ engineering expertise to unleash the full potential of the platform, while staying true to what makes PistonHeads so special to millions of motoring enthusiasts and shoppers in the UK.”
The proposed sale is expected to close in early 2019, subject to satisfaction of certain closing conditions. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
*Source: Comscore Media Metrix® Multi-Platform, Automotive – Information/Resources, Total Audience, Q3 2018, U.S. (Competitive set includes: CarGurus.com, Autotrader.com, Cars.com, TrueCar.com)
**Source: Comscore Media Metrix®, Multi-Platform, UK Automotive, Information/Resources, percentage change in average unique monthly visitors from Q3 2017 vs Q3 2018 (Competitive set includes: AutoTrader.co.uk, Motors.co.uk, Gumtree.com-Motors, and PistonHeads.com)
Founded in 2006 by Langley Steinert (also a co-founder of TripAdvisor), CarGurus (Nasdaq: CARG) is a global, online automotive marketplace connecting buyers and sellers of cars. The company uses proprietary technology, search algorithms and data analytics to bring trust and transparency to the automotive search experience and help users find great deals from top-rated dealers. CarGurus is the largest automotive shopping site in the U.S. based on monthly unique visitor traffic*. CarGurus launched in the UK in 2015 and has the fastest growing audience among large automotive shopping sites in the UK.** In addition to the United Kingdom and the United States, CarGurus operates online marketplaces in Canada, Germany, Italy and Spain.