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Cars24 plans to double retail presence in 2020

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New Delhi, Jan 13 : Used car marketplace Cars24 targets to double its retail foorprint across the country in 2020 with planned launches of around 200 branches.

The company currently has 200 branches with the latest being launched in Bhubaneshwar, Odisha on Monday.

According to a company statement, in past one year, it has expanded its presence to 73 cities from 18 cities in 2018 and doubled the number of branches from 100 in 2018 to 200 in 2019.

“Given our expansion plan in 2020, we will be adding approximately 200 more branches, perhaps adding 100 more cities to our entire portfolio,” said Gajendra Jangid, Co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), Cars24 said.

Jangid further said that it would focus on more on tier-III and IV towns in the year ahead.

“There is a long trail of tier-III and IV towns, where we are not present yet. We are going to go aggressively in tier-III, tier-IV towns,” he added.

He observed that on a monthly basis the company is transacting about 15,000 cars, including buying and selling of used vehicles.

Talking of the demand, he noted that although the supply mostly comes from the tier-I cities, demand is high in tier-II and tier-III towns.

“Approximately 30-40 per cent of the cars which we buy in metros end up going to tier-II and tier-III cities,” he said.

Cars24 is a tech-enabled platform that offers customers to buy and sell used cars. The company, in-turn, sells these cars online through its proprietary auction platform to businesses across India, dealing in pre-owned cars. Investors of the company include Sequoia India, Exor Seeds, Apoletto, Kingsway Capital and US-based investment firm KCK.

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Tesla cars will soon talk to pedestrians, teases Musk

Musk recently confirmed that the popular Disney+ service will soon be available in ‘Tesla Theater’ in a future firmware update.

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San Francisco, Jan 13 : Tesla Cars will soon be talking to pedestrians, asking them to hop in or leave the way on congested roads, CEO Elon Musk has hinted.

Sharing a video via Twitter where a Tesla car can be seen talking to pedestrians, Musk said the feature may make its way to the electric cars soon.

“Teslas will soon talk to people if you want. This is real,” said Musk, showing a brief video clip of a Model 3 driving past people, saying: “Well, don’t just stand there. Hop in!”

It is unclear if the feature will use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to interact with pedestrians or if it’s purely an audio player, TechRadar reported on Sunday.

It is possible that Tesla owners driving for ride-sharing services like Uber and Ola could use the feature to gain more customers.

Musk recently confirmed that the popular Disney+ service will soon be available in ‘Tesla Theater’ in a future firmware update.

‘Tesla Theater’ was included in the company’s Version 10 Update that was released in mid-September last year.

Tesla had also started rolling out holiday updates, including a “full self-driving sneak preview”, Musk teased last week.

The holiday update included long-awaited features like reading text messages aloud via Tesla’s built-in voice commands and a ‘Camp Mode’.

The ‘Camp Mode’ will allow customers who want to use vehicles for camping to maintain airflow, temperature, interior lighting, as well as play music and power devices.

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Auto expo to witness 60 launches; Jio, FB to attend

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New Delhi, Jan 12 To re-attract consumers, the slowdown-dented automobile sector has lined up 60 launches, new technology offerings from debuting global brands at the biennial Auto Expo 2020.

In addition to auto manufacturers, Reliance Jio and social media giant Facebook will also be part of the 15th edition of the expo, being jointly organised by ACMA, CII and SIAM from February 7-12 for the general public, at the India Expo Mart in Greater Noida.

“Auto Expo 2020 is expected to be the biggest driver of consumer sentiment,” Rajesh Menon, Director General of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), told IANS.

“Passenger vehicle original equipment manufacturers, accounting for 85 per cent of the market share, and commercial vehicle OEMs, accounting for 75 per cent of the market share, are participating in this expo,” Menon said.

Sixty launches of passenger cars, commercial vehicles and two-wheelers are expected to showcase the future of mobility in the country.

Many of these launches are expected to be face-lifts of existing models with BS-VI compliant engines as the country is shifting to BS-VI from April 2020.

The healthy participation and launches assume significance as the sector has been battered by falling sales due to high goods and services tax (GST), farm distress, stagnant wages and liquidity constraints.

While some companies had to reduce production, dealers took inventory correction measures.

In terms of participation, brands like Volkswagen, Skoda, Force Motors will make a return to the motor show, FAW Haima, Great Wall, MG Motors and others will make debut.

Lately, telecom operators have entered the segment to provide connectivity to internet-enabled cars and Jio will be showcasing embedded SIM technology for the automobile sector.

Facebook will host a town hall discussion and will also be hosting other events.

The expo 2020 will also feature more than 15 startups, which will showcase technology solutions focused on green mobility and services connected to the automobile industry.

Lithium-ion battery and charger manufacturers, along with tyre firms will also showcase their presence at the auto show.

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Dec auto sales fall by 13%, commercial vehicles down 12%

“Exports witnessed growth of 9.9 per cent to 66,073 units, mainly due to incremental contribution of 6,341 units by Kia Motors, which otherwise could be flattish,” he said.

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New Delhi, Jan 10 : Domestic automobile sales continued to decline in December with the overall sectoral off-take plunging 13.08 per cent on a year-on-year basis, data showed on Friday.

As per the data furnished by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), the sector’s total sales declined to 14,05,776 units in December from 16,17,398 units sold during the corresponding month of the previous year.

In terms of the calendar year, the 2019 sales decline is the worst ever in the last 20 years.

The off-take of commercial vehicles took a major hit with sales declining 12.32 per cent to 66,622 units, compared to 75,984 units in December 2018.

Medium and Heavy Commercial vehicles were a major victim of the ongoing slowdown as sales fell 31.70 per cent to 31,314 units.

Shamsher Dewan, Vice President, Corporate Sector ratings, ICRA, said: “During December 2019, the focus by CV OEMs continued to be on paring down inventory levels at dealerships, especially for the Goods Carrier segment, considering the impending transition to BS-VI emission norms within a quarter and dealer inventory of more than a month.”

He said that wholesale dispatches of Medium and Heavy Commercial Vehicles and light commercial vehicles contracted by 43 per cent and 1 per cent on a YoY basis.

Wholesale dispatches of the bus segment, on the other hand, has been improving over the past quarter, Dewan added.

Passenger vehicle sales declined by 1.24 per cent during the month on a year-on-year basis to 2,38,753 units. Two-wheeler sales were recorded at 1,259,007 units, lower by 16.60 per cent for a year ago period.

“Robust growth (30 per cent YoY) in the UV segment, supported by new launches like Hyundai Venue, Renault Triber, Kia Seltos and MG Hector arrested PV wholesale decline to 1.2 per cent. Retail enquiries are showing some signs of recovery, which augurs well for the industry,” said Ashish Modani, Vice President, Corporate Sector ratings, ICRA.

“Exports witnessed growth of 9.9 per cent to 66,073 units, mainly due to incremental contribution of 6,341 units by Kia Motors, which otherwise could be flattish,” he said.

However, bucking the larger trend, sales in the three-wheeler segment, which includes both goods and passenger carriers, rose by 22.10 per cent to 43,650 units in December 2019.

Overall exports too witnessed a dip of 8.75 per cent at 3,77,472 units last month.

On the production front, total production last moth stood at 19,16,213 units, lower by 5.22 per cent. Manufacturing of commercial vehicles stood at 62,021 units, lower by 9.76 per cent on a year-on-year basis.

A total of 2,58,391 passenger vehicles were produced in the country in December 2019, 3.11 per cent lower than 2,66,686 units during the same month in 2019.

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