U.K.-based digital auto retailer Cazoo has opened an office in Barcelona, local website Metropoliabierta reports. It has rented a floor in Aticco Bogatell, a co-working space in Poblenou—a former industrial area that is rapidly gentrifying. The space covers 1,200 square meters and has 200 workstations.
This relatively low-cost introduction to the Spanish market likely reflects both Cazoo’s straightened financial circumstances and its uncertain future in the country. Its share price is in the doldrums, dragging its market capitalization down from $8 billion U.S. to under $500 million U.S. in less than a year. Cazoo’s losses during the first six months of 2022 more than doubled in comparison with the year-earlier period, to £243 million or $288 million U.S.
In early August, Cazoo CEO Alex Chesterman told investors that he had initiated a “full strategic review” of the company’s European businesses (which include France and Germany, as well as Spain). He added that it was considering “a range of options, including everything from business as usual and doing nothing, to a small investment in those markets to withdrawing from some or all of those markets.”
Cazoo made a big splash in Spain before it officially launched during May, unveiling high-profile shirt-sponsorship deals with two football clubs—Valencia and Real Sociedad. But it has been very quiet since in terms of marketing, and its relative tardiness in opening a local office reinforces the suspicion that the brand’s commitment to the Spanish market is waning.
Cazoo country manager in Spain is Julio Ribes (LinkedIn profile). He was the co-founder and CEO of SwipCar, which Cazoo acquired for €30 million ($29.994 million U.S.) in November 2021 to facilitate its entry into the local market.