Clarkson, Hammond and May’s ‘DriveTribe’ website will close this month

·2-min read

DriveTribe, the car culture website started by Grand Tour trio Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond, is set to close at the end of this month.

The website was founded in 2016 following massive investment from various parties, with the three presenters as the figureheads. It is reported that 21st Century Fox and Breyer Capital invested about £4.8 million and £4m respectively.

Its concept was to combine content written by the site’s users with that of experienced staff writers, with many well-known automotive journalists joining in the site’s early days.

The DriveTribe name came from the idea that people could create ‘tribes’ for any automotive subject, creating communities around specific areas, such as Japanese cars or Formula 1.

DriveTribe Homepage
The DriveTribe homepage on January 10, shortly after the closure announcement. (DriveTribe)

More recently, a FoodTribe website was started following a similar concept for foodies. This will also be shutting down.

Despite huge investment, the company has struggled financially since the beginning of the pandemic. A statement posted online said: “The protracted global shortage of computer chips has caused a number of challenges for the automotive industry, and led to severe reductions in marketing budgets across the industry.

“This has made for an incredibly difficult operating environment for businesses like ours which are dependent on advertising.”

Jeremy Clarkson said: “We’re all really disappointed that challenges in the industry – not in the least helped by the ongoing pandemic – have simply made it impossible to continue with the business in its current form.”

Although the website is coming offline at the end of this month, the company’s social media pages will be kept alive with Richard Hammond being the focus. DriveTribe has found success on YouTube amassing two million subscribers, and content will continue to be uploaded there.

Hammond added: “Although we’re all really disappointed that our DriveTribe website business has to come to an end, I’m really delighted to be continuing our relationship with this brilliant community.”

In 2018 it was reported that the website has lost £12.5m in its first two years of operation, losing £8.3m in 2017 and £4.2m in 2016.

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