New online used-auto competitor coming to Tampa Bay with low price promise
Wake up and good morning. A new web site that will sell area used cars at a discount from dealerships is coming to the Tampa Bay area. It's called Mojo Motors, which works with area dealers to list used autos "at the lowest price online." The company says its online site will provide the complete pricing history of every vehicle for sale, the time on the dealer lot and the total price drop.
Here's how it works. The free web site aggregates used-car inventories from several area dealerships. As reported in this May 17 auto column in the New York Times, the site "requires participating dealers to charge Mojo shoppers less than the lowest advertised price on any particular car." Online browsers remain anonymous and do not have to register with their e-mails, a plus to avoid subsequent bombardments of online ads.
"The consumer proposition is pretty simple," Mojo Motors marketing chief Dan Harman told the New York Times. "They are going to save money."
When a consumer browsing the Mojo site is ready to buy, they print out a discount voucher and take it straight to the dealer where the used vehicle sits. Mojo Motors says the dealer will honor the discount, "no questions asked, no haggling." The web site will notify a shopper if the vehicle they are watching is sold.
The auto dealer must pay a $350 fee for ever vehicle sold. That's a stiff cost but is charged only if the vehicle sells. And that contrasts to more traditional used-car selling methods online like Autobytel and cars.com that require dealerships to pay about $20 per lead upfront, whether or not the vehicle sells.
Boston-based Mojo Motors has been working with 78 dealers in New England and just entered the Dallas market. Next stop? Tampa-St. Petersburg and Orlando, though the company has not specified the exact timing.
Mojo Motors founder Paul Nadjarian (left) is a Harvard MBA who's worked as head of Ford Motor's Internet lead management group, at eBay Motors and co-founded the auto recycling business GreenLeaf Auto. Here's a who's who of the folks behind this company. And the business is getting its funding -- $5 million and counting -- from several venture capital firms, as noted here.
-- Robert Trigaux, Business Columnist, Tampa Bay Times