Why did PSA buy Carventura?

Groupe PSA’s acquisition of Paris start-up Carventura is an interesting move. The business is a web platform for peer-to-peer used car sales and appears to offer many customer benefits. The Carventura Advisor appraises values; the service provides independent inspections and secures transactions. Buyers also receive a minimum six-month mechanical breakdown warranty.

Carventura’s chairman Frédéric Lecroart, says: “Carventura.com is a young, agile and rigorous start-up with an unrivalled offering. It is the only platform in the world to provide such a wide range of personalised services for buying and selling used cars in total security and at the best price. Customer satisfaction is guaranteed.”

Whether or not this proves an effective route to market for Groupe PSA used (or even new) sales remains to be seen. As recent experience has shown, the direct route does not suit everybody. With a young business, it can also take a while for issues to filter through – will the “guarantee of customer satisfaction” always materialise?

Look further afield to Kia in Korea and the manufacturer has created a potential dealership of the future with its Beat360 space in Seoul. This includes a café, garden, shopping space, a salon and even a virtual reality rollercoaster.

There is clearly a place for a quality dealership premises, but new thinking from manufacturers should be studied carefully by retailers if they are to be part of the evolution and not bypassed.

Rachel Gordon

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