BCG Digital Ventures helps VW launch used car platform Hey.Car

13 November 2017 Consultancy.uk

Volkswagen has launched a new platform in Germany aimed at the used car segment. Hey.Car will compete with the large existing car websites who dominate the market, yet according to VW, the platform will offer a better service to both clients as well as dealers. Hey.Car was designed and developed in collaboration with BCG Digital Ventures, the digital arm of The Boston Consulting Group.

Second hand car sales are big business – with the market across Europe spiking over the course of last year. In the UK alone 8.2 million used cars changed hands in 2016 – a 7.3% uplift on the previous 12 months. In comparison, in 2016 car manufacturers sold around 20 million new cars.

As the market continues to grow, lifted by a growing online uptake, competition between middle-man organisations and (used) car dealers is heating. In the UK, dominant middle-man organisations and online platforms include companies like Auto Trader UK or Motors.co.uk, while in Germany, mobile.de or autoscout24.de – who take up around 90% of the market – enjoy a dominant presence. 

BCG Digital Ventures and VW launch HeyCar

In a bid to tap directly into the market, German automotive juggernauts Volkswagen have launched their own second hand dealing platform. VW hope that Hey.Car can break the already established status quo of online used car dealers with a mix of innovative, user friendly interfaces and quality assurance techniques. The platform, which is 100% ad free, is focused on creating a win-win for private clients and car dealers alike, as car dealers are pre-selected by the platform. VW believes that this will guarantee a more secure and trustworthy experience when buying a used car. Meanwhile, since the clients are vetted before a request is sent to the car dealer, the dealer profits from this improved and advanced lead generation process.

All vehicles have less than 150,000 kilometers on the clock and are younger than eight years old. Currently, customers can choose between 51,000 vehicles, with active dealers based in Hamburg, Bremen, Berlin and the Ruhr area – but in the long-run, the platform will seek to roll out elsewhere, as in the next twelve months Hey.Car wants to have tripled the offered vehicle volume. In the medium term, between 200,000 and 300,000 vehicles will be offered on the platform. On top of this, the platform’s "intuitive UX delivery" is aimed at enabling clients to navigate the user-friendly platform quickly and simply, to find suitable cars from all car brands, not only VW – though presently rival brands make up only 10-15% of those listed.

Anthony Bandmann, Spokesman for the Management of Volkswagen Leasing, said of the launch, “With HeyCar, we have developed an agile, dynamic and customer-centric start-up, which is a great solution for the customers and car dealers alike and will gain significant market share.” 

BCG Digital Ventures

The platform was designed by BCG Digital Ventures. The partnership with Volkswagen Financial Services in Germany saw BCG’s digital innovation, incubation, and investment arm develop, build and launch Hey.Car in just six months. The global team of BCG Digital Ventures has been been going through a period of expansion recently, adding three new Partners to its London office last year, along with the purchase of design agency MAYA to meet spiralling demand, as traditional market incumbents seek new digital business practices to thrive in a changing market.

The holistic end to end service provided by BCG Digital Ventures is the latest chapter in a growing trend of consulting industry players entering the design space. Earlier in the year, Accenture were reported to have completed a similar overhaul for education publishing company Pearson.

Related: VW, Volvo and Renault the most popular lease cars among consultants.

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