Zuto's 2015 Roundup
In 2015 we rebranded our whole company, launched our first TV ad, grew our lending panel, increased our head count and celebrated our ninth birthday – just a handful of achievements that have made 2015 a stand-out year for the business. As December draws to a close and we count down the last days of 2015, we wanted to take stock of how far the business has come.
This year has seen the business completely transformed from Car Loan 4U to Zuto. Back when the company was started in 2006 by co-founders Jim and Ryan, it was formed on one simple belief; to show customers a better way to buy a car – and this is still the core drive of the business today. Taking nearly 18 months of planning, our evolution to Zuto is probably the biggest change to affect the business since its launch (nine years ago!).
And in true style we went big. Not only did we introduce the new brand to the world, revealing our new grey and yellow look, but we also launched our very first TV ad. Our “rule the dealership” ads tell the stories of ordinary people, Gary and Lisa, who are empowered, with the help of Zuto, to take complete charge of buying a car and become respective King and Queen of the dealership.
We were honoured to have acclaimed commercial director Harold Einstein of Dummy Films fly in from America to direct the ads, who along with our co-founders, marketing team and one of our car buying experts, Suzie, were part of the 90 strong crew, filming at three UK locations.
Another big change this year has been our increase in headcount. At the start of the year we had just under 250 employees and in 12 months we’ve increased to 327. In addition, the business has also opened a second office in Manchester city centre – housing our marketing and tech and product teams.
This year has also seen our panel of lenders and product offering grow. We now work with 19 lenders, with 84 products covering everything from traditional Hire Purchase (HP) finance through to Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) and Peer to Peer (P2P) lending. We welcomed a number of new lenders to the lending panel and also signed up exclusive agreements with AA Cars, Auto Trader, Gum Tree and uSwitch.
As well as improving our product offering, we also wanted to ensure that Zuto customer’s had all they needed at the click of a button, so we launched ‘My Account’, putting customers in direct control of their car finance and also their application process.
2015 has also been a key year for awards and industry recognition, with the business winning 15 awards across the board. Highlights have included; ranking 7th in the Northern Tech Awards, Rising Star and Intermediary of the Year at the Motor Finance Europe Awards, Best for Car Loans at the International Finance Awards and ranked 25th in the Deloitte Fast 50. Our co-founders, Jim and Ryan, ruled the entrepreneur roost, scooping Young Gun of the Year 2015, EY North West Entrepreneur of the Year, EY Entrepreneur of the Year and the EN Awards: Entrepreneur of the Year. We also led the industry by becoming the first finance broker to be approved by the Financial Conduct Association (FCA) – something we’re extremely proud of.
2015 has seen the business go through phenomenal change and growth, something that will continue next year as we look to help even more customers find a better way to buy a car. We’re even more focused and obsessed over our customers, meaning that 2016 is set to be even bigger!
From everyone at Zuto, Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!