Auto Trader cancels MotoNovo contract in UK

23 May 2017

By Jesse Cox

Auto Trader, the U.K.’s largest online auto site, announced that it will terminate its six-year-long relationship with MotoNovo Finance, and no longer supply the stock feed of the auto finance site.

MotoNovo Finance is a U.K.-based division of South Africa’s FirstRand Bank.

MotoNovo has become one of the go-to providers of automobile financing over a span of 40 years, offering a range of products and services to its customers. The move comes ahead of the planned launch by MotoNovo of its own used-car website at FindAndFundMyCar, scheduled for launch later this year. (Click here to look at the demo site.)

Stock feed websites such as Auto Trader, allow other smaller companies to advertise their products in order to be seen by a larger audience and gain additional exposure.

FindAndFundMyCar will utilize a simple model: it’ll charge users a flat fee of £1.50 ($1.95 U.S.) per car / week. That is much cheaper and much simpler than the price structure of Auto Trader (here). 

Until now, Auto Trader had been displaying MotoNovo’s automobile listings through its stock feed, which included the beta version of FindAndFundMyCar’s website.

The existing arrangement between Auto Trader and MotoNovo will continue until the date of termination – set for July 21. After that date, dealerships on FindAndFundMyCar will have to look elsewhere for their stock feed requirements.

Philip Morgan, head of soon-to-be-launched FindAndFundMyCar.com (photo from his LinkedIn page with thanks)

As Auto Trader sits at the top of the tree when it comes to helping dealers sell their automobiles faster, the termination will certainly raise a few eyebrows in the industry.

Some insiders view it as a testament to MotoNovo’s growing reputation as an emerging force in the online auto sector and an attempt to impede the potential competition posed by the newcomer. Such a measure is perhaps warranted, with FindAndFundMyCar’s platform already boasting over 1,700 dealerships well ahead of its launch.

MotoNovo has been quick to pivot on news of the termination, announcing the appointment of Philip Morgan, former COO of GoCompare, a popular price comparison website, to head up the company’s future online operations.

The cessation of dealings between the two companies is unlikely to impact Auto Trader’s web traffic dominance, however, with its website attracting a whopping 25.1 million visits in April 2017 alone (source: SimilarWeb.com). 

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