After a few weeks of speculation in the German media, Volkswagen Financial Services confirmed in a news statement today (in German) that Daimler has acquired a 20 percent stake in Mobility Trader Holding GmbH, operator of auto site HeyCar, which VW launched in October 2017.
Daimler Financial Services, a subsidiary of the automaker, purchased the shares through a capital increase for an undisclosed sum, and will get a seat on the advisory board of the startup, the report said.
“With this, HeyCar continues on its path as a high-quality and consistently customer-oriented alternative to platforms such as mobile.de and Autoscout24,” sales and marketing director of Volkswagen Financial Services Christian Dahlheim said. “We are very open to other investors and believe this will underpin our strategic ambition for brand neutrality.”
HeyCar advertises “premium pre-owned” autos from verified dealers that are under eight years old and clock less than 150,000 kilometers. It lists more than 300,000 autos from around 1,000 selected dealerships across dozens of brands. Every auto comes with a guarantee, and buyers can finance the autos through VW Bank.
A Daimler spokesperson told Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper today (in German) that the company sees HeyCar as a chance to access end users directly, especially those who might not have thought of buying a Mercedes. Mercedes was the first German automaker to launch a used auto platform for its brand, but this merely connects buyers to authorized dealers.
The goal with HeyCar, Daimler said, is to provide the entire bundle: purchasing, financing, leasing, insurance, and warranty offers, from one source. This will put considerable pressure on used auto marketplaces like Mobile.de and AutoScout24, which offer access to some of these services but only through third parties.