How did Doug DeMuro build his Empire?

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There will always be a sense of satisfaction in seeing someone become successful in doing just what they love. That’s a feeling that Doug DeMuro’s fans know very well, as only in a matter of a couple of years he passed from being a common car enthusiast sharing videos on YouTube, to becoming a big name in the automotive industry, and a successful businessman.

Although there aren’t doubts about the popularity and achievements of Doug, there are indeed many questions about how he became so accomplished in such a vastly competitive field as the automotive industry.

So how did Doug become so knowledgeable about cars and what exactly did he do to grow such a massive audience online? Stay with us to know all about Doug’s beginnings, educational background, family, past projects, current businesses, and everything else which resulted in DeMuro’s successful empire.

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Doug’s Beginnings

Everyone starts somewhere and for Doug DeMuro it was a matter of having a great idea at the right time. Doug’s first feature in a car-related platform was back in 2009, when he wrote an article in the MotorTrend Group-owned magazine Automobile.

While that was a great start for a 21 years old man who loved cars, there was still a long way to go for Doug. He eventually graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from the Atlanta-based Emory University and was soon hired at the local Porsche headquarters, where he managed vehicle allocations. At the same time, Doug published several articles on the successful site AutoTrader.com

Despite having a great time at Porsche financially and professional-wise, Doug soon felt it wasn’t a fulfilling job. As soon as January 2013, Doug risked it all by quitting his job and submitting an article for The Truth About Cars, unexpectedly receiving positive reviews for his hilarious style.

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Keeping that good-humored tone for the rest of his reviews on the site proved to be the right move for Doug, landing him a stable columnist job on the popular auto-blog Jalopnik only a couple of months later. Doug also took advantage of his seemingly increasing popularity online to start his first blog PlaysWithCars.

Growing An Audience & Releasing Books

Doug DeMuro’s time working for Jalopnik was a life-changing one. While he was surely growing a loyal audience through his columns on a variety of car-centered websites, it was Jalopnik where he wrote the most famous reviews of his early career, gaining features in other big platforms such as Business Insider and CNBC for his original and witty humor. At the time Doug became known as the man who bought cars to write reviews, an out-of-the-box but successful method of making himself known in the field.

There was no denying that Doug had taken his career in the right direction back then, reaching the first landmark of his career when he published his first book “Plays With Cars” in 2013, followed that same year by “From My Perspective”. The next year Doug released “Bumper to Bumper”, a book filled with the best and most detailed car stories he had lived by then.

Besides becoming a published author, Doug crossed the limits of the auto-centered online blogs to be featured in important newspapers such as The Atlanta Constitution.

The Ferrari Adventure

Doug DeMuro’s early career was filled with several remarkable moments, yet one if not the most unforgettable one was his nightmare-ish but entertaining one-year-long Ferrari adventure.

In 2014 Doug bought a Ferrari 360 Modena from 2004, a car he had dreamed of owning since he was a kid, but soon became more of a disappointment than a joy. Even though Doug needed a loan to afford such a luxurious car, his main motivation wasn’t to show off, but to test himself on how much of a big deal owning a Ferrari was.

Despite his initial positive attitude, the Ferrari proved to be exhausting to own, given all the unasked attention it called from people everywhere. The car was also very expensive to keep, costing him over $1,000 per maintenance season only. On top of all, Doug admitted having miscalculated the lack of daily-drive characteristics of the Ferrari, describing it as a ‘toy to be played with’ in a Jalopnik column he wrote at the time.

Doug’s complaints about his Ferrari were eyebrow-raising but entertaining to read, gaining him the attention of platforms such as Business Insider and BuzzFeed, which partially covered his struggles with the car. In 2015 Doug sold the Ferrari 360 and claimed to have no regrets about it, but it surely was a brilliant moment in his career despite the difficulties it brought him.

YouTube Channel & Editor’s Job

Doug DeMuro’s success on YouTube happened suddenly and unexpectedly, at least from his perspective. Despite sharing car-related videos on the platform from 2013, that content was initially planned to accompany his written pieces, not to take the center spot of his presence online.

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Nonetheless, Doug’s career has been full of welcomed realizations and this was no exception. In mid-2016, he noticed that his writing wasn’t doing that well number-wise, meanwhile, his very rare YouTube content was doubling and sometimes making thrice more views compared to it. It wasn’t difficult to do the math and realize that video content was the change his career needed at the time.

On the other hand, that year Doug became editor-in-chief of Oversteer, a blog born from AutoTrader.com and which allowed him to explore his car-content creation creativeness with barely any limitations. That also cleared the path for other ideas to come Doug’s way, as he stopped reviewing cars he owned to start talking about his friends’ cars in his videos, obtaining great responses from his YouTube subscribers. The change of content was prompted by repeated complaints from the audience about Doug’s ‘bragging’ attitude, as he admitted in a video from 2018.

That was the definite start of Doug’s very successful career as a YouTube creator, yet more great things will come his way in the following years.

His Most Memorable Cars

Doug DeMuro is one of the few lucky people in the world whose job requires him to drive and test lots of cars just to have something to talk about. The beginning of his career was marked by the cars he bought and continuously reviewed, such as the infamous Ferrari 360 he owned for a year and which gained him his first wave of internet virality.

In the following years, Doug purchased a wide variety of cars which he wrote about for as long as there was a reason for it, such as a $45,000 priced Aston Martin Vantage he used as a daily ride for a couple of months. The car proved to be a great purchase for its thousands of dollars worth of warranty, unlike the Ferrari, but he eventually sold it.

When Doug changed his content to focus on other people’s rides, he put his hands on several great cars. Some of the most famous and popular ones include the supercar Bugatti Chiron, though reviews of more-common cars such as the 2002 BMW M5 became very popular in his channel as well.

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His increasing experience with a wide variety of cars pushed him to create the DougScore, which he uses to categorize and compare cars against each other regardless of their type, usage, manufacturer, or time on the market. To date, hundreds of cars have been tested under the DougScore and it’s one of his most popular inventions.

Stardom & Television

As admitted by Doug in a 2018 video, for a couple of years he didn’t believe his YouTube content was more than a hobby. He only realized it had turned into a full job when he went to Minnesota during his 2016’s county-wide trip on his Aston Martin and hundreds of people showed up for him.

Having in his mind that he had a future in the field, Doug’s online audience only increased with time, slowly but surely gaining followers who kept loyal to him even after he rebranded his content to common and affordable cars. In 2018 he opened his secondary channel More Doug DeMuro, which allows Doug to connect with his audience in a more personal, in-depth way.

Nowadays, Doug has gained 4.6 million subscribers on his primary channel and over 750,000 on the secondary one, but his success hasn’t stopped there. In 2017 Doug debuted on TV in the episode “Larger Than Life” in the highly popular automotive show “Jay Leno’s Garage”. A second appearance in the show took place in 2019 when Doug was invited to review Leno’s McLaren F1.

Businesses

While Doug DeMuro keeps actively sharing reviews on his YouTube channel, he has already turned the page on other aspects of his career. For starters, in 2016 he said goodbye to being a regular Jalopnik columnist, and his blog on AutoTrader.com suffered a similar fate a couple of years later.

The reason for leaving the platforms which gained Doug his earliest traces of internet fame is very reasonable. One on hand, creating regular YouTube content became Doug’s main focus around the time he left Jalopnik, meanwhile, he left his column in AutoTrader.com right at the time he began working on Cars & Bids, his auction website which doesn’t list cars built before 1981.

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Regarding his reasons to start such a particular business, Doug told TopSpeed it was all about expanding his access to great cars he could talk about: ‘I love doing those videos. So, it was this perfect ability to review these cool cars that I want to do anyway, and still make financial sense’, he said.

Plans For The Future

According to 2023 reports, Cars & Bids’ customers had spent over $230 million in car purchases since the website’s inception, and its growth seems unstoppable. Early that year, the business founded by Doug DeMuro sold $37 million in shares to the US-based investment firm The Chernin Group, impressively taking Cars & Bids to the next level.

Despite selling a big part of the company to investors, Doug is still deeply involved with the company, and doesn’t plan on saying goodbye to the project, as he affirmed in an interview with Forbes in 2023.

Looking back at the first years of Doug’s career as a nine-to-five worker at Porsche, then as a columnist and YouTuber by mere chance, it’s really impressive how far he has come to being a businessman through and through.

Nonetheless, though Doug DeMuro will surely keep building his automotive empire in the near future, there’s no doubt that he’s just the same old, hilarious, and very creative man that charmed his internet audience so many years ago.

Olivia Wilson
Olivia Wilsonhttps://medium.com/@Olivia_Wilson
As the Freelance Writer at Net Worth Post, I steer producing riveting stories about the lives and triumphs of influencers. With an unwavering commitment to precision and a flair for weaving compelling tales, I guide our content creation, from the depths of research to the pinnacle of narrative excellence. My responsibilities encompass the full spectrum of editorial management, including the meticulous investigation, narrative development, and upholding the integrity and high standard of our output.

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