heycar UK announces Karen Hilton as new CEO

Car buying site heycar is announcing changes to its leadership team in order to further accelerate its growth in the UK and across Europe.

Karen Hilton, who joined the business in 2019 as Chief Commercial Officer, is now promoted to Chief Executive Officer following a six-month planned transition.

With Karen’s track record as a founding member of the heycar UK leadership team and the success of the UK business, she is the natural choice to lead the business now as CEO.

Mat Moakes, heycar UK’s CEO from its launch in 2019, moves to a new role as CCO in heycar Group. This will facilitate the rapidly growing online marketplace’s push into markets, following successful launches in Spain, France and the Netherlands in the past 18 months alone. Mat’s remit is to create a more international organisation and grow the heycar business across Europe.

Originally launching in the UK as a quality focussed, classified marketplace, the business has moved with the pace of consumer buying behaviour, launching an e-commerce option for customers to buy from the comfort of their home. Now, heycar boasts the largest selection of cars available to purchase online (17,000 currently available) and has built a growing network of exclusive commercial partnerships with Parkers, BuyaCar, Regit and more.

Karen Hilton, Chief Executive Officer of heycar UK said: “We've established a formidable momentum in the UK, a super focused leadership team, and a great culture for our team. I look forward to steering this rocket ship through its next phase.

“In the three years we've been operating we've faced a pandemic, a structural change in the supply network, and now the UK faces the economic headwinds of a recession. So, if there's one challenge to expect from my role as CEO, I know it’ll be continuing to weather the ongoing uncertainty and ambiguity. The automotive and tech industry, however, has also gone through pivotal changes since the Covid pandemic - the way we work and the way we consume goods have changed and that change is here to stay. 

“With all these changes comes opportunity such as the potential for new routes to market - we've already seen our eCommerce business grow 6x since the end of 2021 showcasing that some people are 100% ready to buy a car online - but also the opportunity to work differently and attract new talent to heycar. To face this head-on, we'll continue to be bold, take risks on new trends and set ourselves apart from the incumbents in the industry.”

Karen, who has previously worked at a range of automotive and tech start-up businesses including Volkswagen, BMW, carwow and Nested is available for interview.