New Delh: For someone who grew among cars, Vinay Sanghi promoter of auto classified portal CarTrade.com, starting a car business was obvious. He says, car business is in his blood. His family has been associated with auto-business from 1950s. He was the founder CEO of Mahindra First Choice (MFC) which deals in used cars and still hold shares in the company. “The idea behind the launch of CarTrade was when I saw the car industry growing and internetexploding. So I felt there was a need to club both,” said Mr Sanghi. As this idea germinated, CarTrade was launched in January 2010.
Right now CarTrade has tied up with 1,800 dealers throughout the country and has a list of 50,000 used cars. Mr Sanghi says that CarTrade gives customers multiple option to look for the type of used car they would want to buy. “The customer can enter the car name and the city in which he is living. We give him various options and the dealers who are offering these cars in his city. The consumer can go to the dealer and buy the car,” he said. He points out that CarTrade comes handy, as otherwise a dealer has limited stock available with him.
“So a customer may have to visit many dealers before zeroing on the type of car he needs. But here at CarTrade we connect various dealers on a single platform with the customer and he can easily locate the dealers which are offering cars he is looking for,” says Mr Sanghi. Dealers pay a subscription fee to get their stock listed on CarTrade.
Even though the new car market is right now flat, used car market is growing at 15 per cent. What has helped is that while earlier there were only limited options available to the consumer like Ambassadors and Fiat, now, every year there are close to 50 cars launched in India, says Sanghi . “So consumers are looking to change cars every 2-3 years. In India 2.5 million used car are sold every year and this number is likely to double in the next five years,” he says.
He points out that in US that ratio of sale of new car to used car is 1:3 and in India it is still at 1:1. “So there is large scope for growth. Also here the penetration of the cars is still very low. In India there are 10-11 cars for every 1,000 people while in US there are 750 cars per 1,000 people. This is one of the reasons all global car coming are coming to India,” says Mr Sanghi.
Currently some 4 million unique visitors visit the website every month. To help the customer, CarTrade also sends their mechanic to check these used cars. “In addition to the mechanic we also tell the customers what we think should the price of the car be, ” says Mr Sanghi. CarTrade caters to an audience between the age group of 24 to 40 years. Mr Sanghi says the firm is not looking for break-even and is trying to grow the business. “We are spending on marketing advertisements. We have launched adds on TVs.” CarTrade is present in all the major cities and most of its business comes from big cities....