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It seems Tesco are taking their tagline to new limits in deciding that ‘every little helps’ not just when it comes to picking up some three-for-two Radishes, but also when the time comes to trade in your dilapidated old rust-bucket for, well, something not too dissimilar. That’s right, this week Tesco launched Tescocars.com, a specialist site dedicated to selling second hand motors at knockdown prices.
Tescocars taps into huge fleet of ex-lease cars, all RAC approved which uses can pay a deposit for, at which point the car is removed from sale. £99 will ensure that no one else gets their greasy mitts on the vehicle and allows the bidder to check the car’s history before going ahead with the transaction. In this sense, Tescocars offers the expansive range of an organisation like Autotrader, but without the risk of buying from a Terry Tibbs-esque dodgy dealer from Essex, since all cars on the site meet the ‘Tesco Cars standard’, whatever that is!
This represents Tesco’s ongoing tenacious approach monopolising, well, everything. Recent ventures in to car insurance and mobile network provision have all proved fruitful and their remit of approaching these ventures with an affordable, no-frills attitude is certainly proving popular in the current financial climate. Can a trader traditionally specialising in groceries really make in the ultra-competitive world of car dealing?
Opposition already exists from the aforementioned Auto-Trader, currently the bench mark in the second hand car directories, as well as the ever growing car leasing market and long established car supermarkets. Tesco may have stolen a jump on second-hand competitors however by removing the uncertainty that surrounds handing large amounts of cash over to a stranger in exchange for a piece of machinery that could be on its last legs, by assuming accountability for the condition of the car.
So is there anything bad to say about Tescocars? Ben Fenton of the Financial Times correctly pointed out that the Supermarket giant is taking a step into a carbon-producing industry in a time when the onus is on business to decrease their carbon footprint. Tesco will of course argue that they are reducing emissions in other areas, but is it fair to make customers feel guilty about the amount of plastic bags they use when the company have just adopted a fleet of thousands of toxic-gas spewing vehicles?