About Max Katsarelas

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What the CarGurus IPO means for auto startups

CarGurus recently announced they will be expanding their service internationally and going public. I’ve been asked by colleagues and the press for my thoughts and here are three reasons why I couldn’t be more excited.

  1. Finally! Automotive gets to have its share of the public markets.  AutoTrader and Cars.com have been operating profitably for over 15 years, but are still closely held private companies (Cox Enterprises, Inc. owns AutoTrader and Gannett owns Cars.com).
  2. All automotive marketplaces will benefit.  As the Founder of Mojo Motors I’m thrilled our category will get attention the other major verticals (real estate, travel, jobs) have enjoyed for years through multiple IPOs.
  3. International expansion is a bold move.  The challenges are significant and margin for error is very thin.  CarGurus’ strategy to go public, then use proceeds and/or stock to acquire existing players is a great idea with some historical evidence. This is how eBay successfully and quickly expanded internationally in the early to mid 2000’s. This same strategy can work in the automotive space, as well.

As 2014 begins making way for 2015, here’s a recap of some of the developments in automotive tech.

  • January 2, 2014 – Cox Enterprises increases stake in AutoTrader to 98%
  • January 21, 2014 – CarWoo shuts down after $16M in funding
  • May 16, 2014 – TrueCar goes public and trades at $9 a share
  • August 4, 2014 – Gannet buys Cars.com for $1.8B
  • October 11, 2014 – CarGurus announces they are going international and public

Expect the automotive marketplace shakeups to continue in 2015 and beyond…


Written by Paul Nadjarian

Paul is the Founder and CEO of Mojo Motors, an automotive classified website where shoppers Follow cars to get alerts when dealers drop prices.

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Shoppers care more about bulletproofed trucks than recalls

A few months back we studied over 35,000 emails to dealerships on Mojo Motors from shoppers interesting in buying a car. What we found was shoppers don’t care about recalls. Only two people asked about them. That’s right, only .005 percent of people asked about recalls. Since that article was published, there have been something like a billion more vehicle recalls and that’s not counting those GM recalls.

truck-with-bullet-holesShoppers now must really be wary of open recalls on used cars. They aren’t. In a study of nearly 20,000 new email leads to dealers since May, not a single person mentioned the word recall. Most people don’t even ask questions as the majority of people (81 percent) use the stock email message. Here’s what everyone else (19 percent) wanted to know. [keep reading]

What Every Major Car Name Actually Means (Jalopnik)

Jalop Logo PressWritten by Matt Hardigree for Jalopnik

There are hundreds of active car names and some of them are fairly obvious, like the Mustang or the Escort, but what’s a Passat and, uh, where is a Venza? Our friends at Mojo Motors put together this definitive list and graphic. [keep reading]

General Motors 2014 Recalls Infographic

Updated August 13, 2014
Updated July 24, 2014
Updated June 30, 2014

In the first half of 2014, General Motors recalled more cars than it sold in the last five years according to this article. Between the lawsuits, hearings at Capital Hill, internal investigations, delivering new parts to dealers, getting drivers to bring in their recalled cars – this is the general state of General Motors.

Logo of GM Recalls Cobalt

The automaker, already fined a maximum of $35 million, is looking at an even larger settlement expected to be in the billions. Just last month in May of 2014, Toyota agreed to pay $1.2 billion for misleading consumers and the government on their own recalls. [keep reading]

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