WeBuyCars trades over 150,000 cars per year

WeBuyCars buys and sells more than 13,500 vehicles every month, with January a record month with over 14,000 cars bought and sold. 

This was revealed in a WeBuyCars investor presentation on 16 February, where the company outlined its strategy and stated its investment case before listing on the JSE. 

Webuycars was founded in 2001 by brothers Dirk and Faan van der Walt. Faan said it all began with an eye for a bargain and the enjoyment of discovering the price of cars.

He emphasized that the buying price is the biggest challenge. “If you do not buy it right, then it will never work,” he said. “This is the goose that lays the golden egg”.

They opened their first ‘supermarket’ in Pretoria, which could store 100 vehicles. In less than a year, they expanded their capacity to 700 vehicles. 

Dirk and Faan did all the work themselves for the first ten years. However, after launching a website, the brothers soon realised they would need to hire people.

In 2014, they began appointing their first buyers in all major cities in South Africa and followed up this expansion with the launch of more supermarkets in Cape Town, Durban, and Centurion. 

It was key to appoint like-minded people in positions of responsibility, said Faan, but luck also played a part in their hiring processes. 

During this expansion process, they began developing their own software capabilities to track buyer behaviour in real-time and determine their pricing. 

Most impressively, the company has scaled organically by keeping all profits in the business and investing it in new supermarkets, employees, or stock. 

Faan said the brothers did not even draw a salary from the company during this phase to ensure as much of the profits as possible were reinvested in the business.

This has led to tremendous growth for the company, with its net profit compounding at 60% since 2011. 

In the last five years alone, they have increased their number of units bought and sold ten times from around 15,000 cars a year to over 140,000.

To continue its growth, Faan said the company will remain focused on its current offering while expanding its financing and insurance business and its physical footprint across the country. 

They expect to double their market share in the next five years and have a buying pod in every town across South Africa and at least one within 10 km of everyone in big cities.


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