After five years of questionable existence, DriveTribe is shutting down its website at the end of January.
“Industry challenges,” like tightening marketing budgets and the ongoing chip shortage, have been pegged as the reason why the site will go dark. Those issues have made it impossible for the ad-supported site to continue, according to a blog post from the company.
The community will continue in some form on YouTube and other social media platforms. It’ll primarily be fronted by Richard Hammond and his team – who were already doing the brunt of the work on their social media channels.
“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. There’s never been a more exciting time to talk about the industry as we deal with these hugely challenging market forces and the rapid evolution of what we mean by motoring,” Hammond wrote. “Come and join me on the channels along with lots of familiar DriveTribe faces as we continue to keep the brand alive and the conversation going.”
DriveTribe was founded in 2016 with the support of the Top Gear trio — Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May — along with their producer Andy Wilman.
It’s unveiling coincided with their other new venture: The Grand Tour on Amazon.
CEO Ernesto Schmitt handled site operations while the trio used their notoriety to drum up enthusiasm and traffic for the site.
“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,” Clarkson said in the blog post. “I’m very much looking forward to seeing what mischief Hammond and his team get up to as they take the channels and the community forward.”
Users were meant to join “Tribes” hosted by members of the TG/GT trio or start their own, and it could be centered around anything car related. In 2018, we reported that Drive Tribe had burned through nearly $16 million in just two years, and it’s unlikely their fortunes ever got better.
The part news/part social media site never really became the hub of car culture it was supposed to be, and now it never will.
For anyone who wrote on the site, the blog post details how to download your content to save it for future, personal use.