Online car-buying platform HeyCar U.K. has promoted Karen Hilton (LinkedIn profile) to CEO from her position as chief commercial officer (CCO). Hilton takes over from Mat Moakes (LinkedIn profile), who becomes CCO of HeyCar Group.
Hilton joined HeyCar in 2019, having previously spent two years at CarWow as commercial director. She takes on her new role following a planned six-month transition period. Moakes, who has been CEO since the business launched in the U.K. in 2019, will now focus on growing the company across Europe.
HeyCar said the changes are part of a strategy to “further accelerate its growth in the U.K. and across Europe.” HeyCar originally launching as a marketplace but has since developed an e-commerce offering.
The company claims to have the largest selection of cars available to buy online in the U.K. — currently just under 17,000. HeyCar is based in Germany, where it launched in 2017, backed by Volkswagen Financial Services, Volkswagen AG and Daimler Mobility Services. It launched in Spain in 2020 and at the end of 2021, it commenced operations in the Netherlands and France. The U.K. business has built a network of commercial partnerships with the likes of Parkers, BuyaCar, and Regit.
“In the three years we’ve been operating, we’ve faced a pandemic, a structural change in the supply network and now the UK faces the economic headwinds of a recession,” said Hilton.
“So, if there’s one challenge to expect, I know it’ll be continuing to weather the ongoing uncertainty and ambiguity. The automotive and tech industry has gone through pivotal changes since the pandemic — the way we work and the way we consume goods have changed, and that change is here to stay.”
“With all these changes comes opportunity, such as the potential for new routes to market. We’ve already seen our e-commerce business grow six-fold since the end of 2021, showcasing that some people are 100% ready to buy a car [online].”
In May, the company published its financial results for 2021 in the U.K. and 2020 in Germany. These revealed large losses: £23.6 million ($25.7 million U.S.) on turnover of just £5.9 million on the U.K. and £35.1 million on revenue of £7.8 million in Germany.