An Interview with Tom Wood, CEO at Cazana

Cazana are rapidly changing the way the automotive industry works with vehicles. Their award-winning data and vehicle valuations are being used by hundreds of dealers, insurers and lenders to provide better automotive products to their customers. Having announced our new partnership with Cazana last month we took some time out to catch up with Cazana’s CEO Tom Wood.


We know that today you’re one of the top players in automotive valuation data and insight, but how did it all begin?

I have always been a fan of classic cars. There has been a lot of speculation in the classic car space over the past ten years and I was keen to better understand price movements in a scientific way to spot the bargains that were likely to appreciate. In 2012, we started gathering data on the classic car market price movements and building the first current and future price index for classic cars. Having started this with older vehicles we realised that the incumbent ‘trade guides’ were also out of date in their methodology and data and we started applying our technology to all used vehicles, old and new to create Cazana.


Cazana prides itself on real-time retail driven data, where does that come from and how can it help the trade to reduce risk and increase profitability?

Cazana scours the market daily to discover every vehicle on sale, we then use this big data to understand the current and future values of vehicles. Our valuation models are updated every 24 hours giving our clients real-time insight on current and future values based on live retail data. Working with retail data allows dealers to choose more wisely what stock will sell quickly and optimise price for improved customer interest. It also allows lenders to make decisions based on today’s market – not historic auction movements from months ago.

 

Customers are more informed than ever and are coming to dealers forecourts well equipped with previous market research from online classifieds. If you are not pricing to match the retail market the customer will lose interest, meaning it will take that dealer longer to sell the vehicle in question and hence incur higher stocking costs.


How are your valuations different from the traditional players in the market? 

The traditional valuation “books” have been around for a long time and as such have processes that were established decades ago before the real-time technology Cazana uses was available. Insight is often anecdotal and largely based on auction selling price data which only covers a subset of the vehicle market. As an example, electric and high-end vehicles are poorly represented at auction which means the traditional valuation provider data is weaker on these types of cars.

 

At Cazana, we never manually edit or interfere with the data, we have a team of data scientists who have built intelligent models to interpret what the market is doing in real-time, giving our clients a transparent and accurate view of what is happening across the whole market today, and in the future.


What are Cazana’s biggest achievements to date?

Over the last couple of years, we have achieved some real industry recognition specifically, in the types of people we have attracted. We were fortunate enough to have leading industry expert Rupert Pontin join us as Director of Insights from Glass’s Guide/Autovista. We also had David Hammond join us as non-executive chairman in early 2018. David has extensive years of experience in key automotive businesses such as Camden Corporate Fleet Services, Car Shops, Allen Ford and is currently chief executive of Camden Ventures.

 

In late 2018 the Financial Ombudsman recommended that insurers use Cazana’s valuations to assess the value of vehicles involved in insurance claims. Cazana valuations are now one of the Ombudsman’s key reference points in determining whether or not a valuation is reasonable in the case of written-off vehicles.

 

From a dealer perspective, we now issue thousands of valuations daily to dealers from the largest groups in the country, through to independents and all in between via our award-winning Cazana Companion product.

 

And of course, I have to mention these two latest partnerships with Experian. We are thrilled to be working with Experian in both the Financial and banking sectors as well as in the dealer space. Between us, I know we will be able to revolutionise dealer pricing and provenance!


Why did you choose to partner with Experian?

Experian have impressive reach in lending, banking and dealer sectors. We saw an opportunity to create a powerful combined offering where customers can access credit data, vehicle provenance and Cazana valuations through a single relationship.

 

We also identified the opportunity to enhance Experian’s Autocheck service with the power of Cazana. This new AutoCheck is a powerful tool for dealers allowing them to access everything they need to identify, price and check the vehicles they buy and sell.


What added benefits can clients have by using the new Cazana and Experian solutions?

Experian’s dealer customers are moving to the new Cazana-powered AutoCheck platform which will allow them to quickly understand the current value of vehicles in today’s market, identify competing stock and fully interrogate the vehicle’s history.

 

Cazana’s vehicle profiles also give dealers unique insight into each vehicle’s history including where it’s been sold before, who is selling it (private dealer, franchise, etc) and what similar vehicles in the market are selling for, as well as full MOT history and vehicle specification.

 

Clients will also gain exposure to vehicle’s previous advertisement history which is again unique to Cazana! There’s an absolute wealth of knowledge in Cazana Companion and this combined with Experian’s provenance will be a winning combination for savvy dealers.


How do I find out more about the new solutions?

You can learn more about our solutions by clicking here, or organise a call back from one of our automotive experts here.