The Covid-19 pandemic has had a big impact on the automotive industry at large. While new car sales have seen an erratic graph over the past year, one segment that surged forward is the pre-owned car business. Moreover, a new push for digitization in the industry also contributed towards strong volumes for both new and pre-owned car businesses. In the pre-owned car space, Big Boy Toyz was the first to make that transition introducing an app and moving its inventory to an online space. The decision has paid off well for the company as it now receives about 65 percent of its sales from digital mediums.
Jatin Ahuja, Founder, Big Boy Toyz said, "If you would've asked me two years back, our 40 percent sales used to come from digital. But it has grown from 40 percent to 65 percent. With all the platforms put together. This is not just about digital, 65 percent of the customers don't come to the showroom anymore to buy cars from us. They see the pictures, they see the car, they transfer the money, and we deliver the car to them."
"It comprises digital with our physical experience over the years and the trust we've built over the years with the customer that they feel the need is not there. They've seen our quality, they've already dealt with us. So everything put together, we call it digital. Because someone not coming to the showroom and buying a car and that too a used car wherein every transaction is very unique," he added further. The post lockdown phase also brought a spike in demand for used luxury cars. BBT deals in luxury cars of not more than 30,000 km and five years old. The company had a hard time keeping up with the supply during this period.
Ahuja said, "Lockdown 1.0 is among the craziest demand we've ever seen in my career. I haven't seen this kind of demand after Lockdown 1.0. We did not have enough cars to supply. We have strengthened our procurement team by three times than what we were about one year back. Buying became the biggest challenge but sales weren't the problem. We saw a 35-40 percent growth over the last year. We did not have enough cars otherwise we would've seen a 200-250 percent growth."
BBT procures every vehicle after it has undergone 151 checkpoints. The company will repair what needs to be done before listing the same, while the team only picks cars that are non-accidental. The BBT app, meanwhile, allows customers to check the listed cars, a 360-degree video of the car, a virtual tour, service history, EMI calculator, comparison sheet, and the provision to submit documents online.
Ahuja also elaborated how the uber-luxury segment in the range of ₹ 8-10 crore has seen a massive surge in India since 2018. Cars from Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Lamborghini, Ferrari among other brands retail in this extremely niche space, and Ahuja says that over 50 such cars have been sold in the country in the last 2.5 years. At present, nearly 50 percent of demand in the pre-owned luxury car business comes from SUVs. With social distancing protocols here to stay for a while, Ahuja is now focusing on keeping operations phygital (physical + digital). He believes this to be the future of retail sales and aims to touch about five lakh people a day through multiple platforms over the next 12 months. In terms of active conversions, BBT anticipates about 3-4 car sales in a day and about 100 cars in a month.
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