Santander Consumer Finance, the consumer loans arm of Banco Santander, has acquired 93.8% of Spanish firm AutoDescuento SL, which owns vehicle marketplace Coches.com. No financial details have been revealed.
Banco Santander owns a 70% stake in WebMotors in Brazil, where it has made tremendous strides in financing used cars (the other 30% is owned by CarSales, the Australian automotive marketplace powerhouse).
Coches.com (not to be confused with Adevinta-owned rival Coches.net) was founded in 2009 by Iñaki and Ignacio Arrola. Though lead generation for new car sales has always been its primary focus, the company has expanded its service and product offerings in recent years to include financing, leasing, insurance and like-new vehicle sales.
Coches.com also serves the used car market. Last year, it launched PayCar, a tool that allows users to complete private sales, including payment and title transfer, securely online. This segment of the business was the result of a partnership with Bankinter Consumer Finance, which perhaps will change with the Santander acquisition.
According to company figures, Coches.com has over 3 million unique users per month and handled approximately 30% of queries regarding new car sales opportunities in Spain last year.
In a news release, Santander said the acquisition “aims to generate value for car dealers and end users by … improving the experience and transparency in car buying and financing over the Internet.”
Coches.com will keep its current management, headed by director Gerardo Cabañas. In the press statement, Cabañas said: “Bringing this type of service closer to dealers and strengthening the financing process is essential for the digitalization and evolution of the market.”