Naut Löwensteijn, Product Manager,

I joined in January 2019. My background is in consultancy, and for a few years I’d been doing consulting in the automotive industry in Europe and the US, where I have delivered mostly digital and customer experience projects.

A couple of things made me decide to join First, working here offered the chance to be part of disrupting the automotive industry from the inside. We’re taking a front-row seat in changing the business of selling used cars. Another thing that appealed was that this company really is digital first. Most automotive businesses focus on the traditional offline journey, but at, digital is the DNA of everything we do. Also, we’re able to make the decisions and steer change. Those things, combined, were what made me decide to join.

Everyone in this community is determined to work toward being the first and becoming the largest player in selling high-quality used cars. We’re all determined to meet this goal, to establish the most trusted and largest pan-European marketplace. We’re growing fast. Officially we’re not a start-up any more, but we still feel that start-up culture, and that drives energy and brings the best to me and other colleagues. We want to develop and grow.

In the automotive industry, in the next five to ten years, things are going to change at a very fast pace. Mobility is going to look completely different in ten years. Everything around the customer journey, including buying and leasing cars, is going to change. For me, offered the ability to make an impact. I wanted to take ownership within a digital company over a piece of business, and currently I’m working in two areas: on the e-commerce flow, enabling consumers to buy a car completely online; and on creating a digital partner experience and digital solutions for outside partners.

People here are very much aware that we have to communicate and help each other. Instead of asking someone and being given five forms to fill in, it’s ‘OK, you need this, let’s get together and we’re going to fix this.’ It’s a helpful culture, and there’s simplicity. Everyone is open, the ambition is clearly stated, we know where we are going, and we are working to get this done.

Priorities can change quite quickly, and we need to be able to handle the changes of direction. That’s one challenge. Another is that being a young company growing in a large space, we’re aware that growing to a larger size can detract from nimbleness and simplicity. We should still be able to find each other: me walking over to marketing and getting an answer quickly is part of our future success.

Here, we’re very much allowed to take ownership and initiative – those are things that are very much encouraged within If there’s a piece of work that I think is going to grow in the next years, there’s the opportunity for me to take a role, and increase that role and maybe even build a team around a specific topic, because there are still topics that need leaders.

I find it exciting to be part of disrupting the industry. When I told my previous company I was going to, two colleagues told me they bought cars there and really liked the experience, and the simplicity of the process. I want to make sure that in one or two years from now, this is very common, and people feel confident in buying a used car from online. I very much feel proud to be part of a brand that wants to make the world of used-car buying reliable.

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