Used-car marketplace CarNext is to close its head office in Amsterdam next September and has already laid off a significant portion of the employees who work there, Automotive Magazine Online reports, citing sources close to the company.
The sources said that the marketplace would continue to operate solely in Spain and Portugal and intended to create a structure through which it could continue to operate in the two Iberian countries.
Earlier this month, it was reported that CarNext had ceased operations in Netherlands and Italy, following the company’s withdrawal from two other European markets earlier in the fall.
At the time, it posted a message on its website in Italy telling users “CarNext has decided to stop selling used vehicles to private customers. Sales to traders will continue.”
A similar message was displayed on CarNext’s Germany-based website, following its decision to halt sales to retail customers in September. Simultaneously, it pulled out of the Norwegian market.
Back in September, a spokesperson for CarNext’s parent company, Constellation Automotive Group, said: “CarNext has reduced the size of its footprint as part of its ongoing integration into the Constellation Group. CarNext maintains a sizeable operation in Europe.”
Reports also suggest that the company will also axe its operations in France. CarNext’s France-based website makes no reference to this, although it displays an inventory of just 291 vehicles.
By contrast, rival businesses in mainland Europe — such as AramisAuto in France, AutoScout24 Smyle in Germany, Clicars in Spain and Bynco in the Netherlands — all have four- or five-figure inventories.
CarNext’s withdrawal from Germany and Norway in September came just a day after rival business Cazoo announced it would cease trading in mainland Europe to focus on its core business in the U.K.
These latest developments leave Auto1 in pole position in digital auto retail in mainland Europe. Its main challengers are Germany-based classified marketplace like AutoScout24 and Mobile.de, in addition to a number of classified sites across the continent currently developing e-commerce propositions.
CarNext was acquired by Constellation Automotive Group in October 2021.
The AIM Group has contacted CarNext for comment and will update this piece if the company responds.