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Dhoni invests in online used car marketplace Cars24

Founded in 2015 by Vikram Chopra and Mehul Agrawal, the company is backed by Sequoia India, Exor Seeds, partners of DST Global, London-based Kingsway Capital and Silicon Valley investment firm KCK.

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Gurugram, Aug 13 (IANS) Former Indian captain MS Dhoni has invested in Gurugram-based online used car marketplace Cars24 for an undisclosed sum, the company announced on Tuesday. The investment is part of the series D round of funding.

Founded in 2015 by Vikram Chopra and Mehul Agrawal, the company is backed by Sequoia India, Exor Seeds, partners of DST Global, London-based Kingsway Capital and Silicon Valley investment firm KCK.

“I am thrilled to be part of the CARS24 journey. Besides being a fan of all things to do with cars, I am also a fan of new age companies that are disruptive, innovative and shaping the future. CARS24 is definitely one of these companies,” Dhoni said in a statement.

As consumption slowdown and liquidity crunch hit the auto industry including the second-hand car market, Cars24 reportedly shut down a dozen stores in the national capital recently, saying it is in the process of “addressing anomalies”.

“We are very excited to welcome Mahi into the CARS24 family. His ability to constantly evolve, innovate and find solutions to every problem thrown at him over the years have made him the most celebrated captain in the Indian history,” said Chopra.

CARS24 said it has invested in data and technology to provide consumers with a reliable and trusted solution.

“We already have a huge customer base in the used car industry and plan to engage them further by offering our services from over 1,000 branches in the next few years,’ added Gajendra Jangid, Co-Founder and CMO CARS24.

The company has recently announced its foray into the franchise model and intends to scale up its presence in over 300 tier II, III and IV markets by 2021.

Last month, Cars24 said it was in the process of addressing “anomalies observed with a few properties” after the media reported that half-a-dozen landlords in Delhi sent legal notices to the Sequoia-funded platform for allegedly not paying rents for months and shutting down outlets in violation of lease agreements.

They alleged that Cars24 ended leases before the lock-in period was over.

“We conduct periodic internal audit of all properties for compliance and are currently in the process of addressing anomalies observed with a few properties in our recent audit,” Jangid had told IANS.

Including the retail branches, parking and offices, the number of properties Cars24 operates in the country is around 200.

“We are planning to be present in 70 cities with 230 branches by 2019,” Jangid had said, adding that the platform has secured trust of over 10,000 channel partners from more 230 cities who are registered on its platform.

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Tata Motors to go for third closure from August 16

Sources in Tata Motors say there has been a sharp decline in purchase order of the vehicles from the Jamshedpur unit.

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Ratan-Tata

Ranchi, Aug 14 (IANS) The impact of slowdown in the auto industry on Tata Motors is visible as its Jamshedpur unit is going for third closure from August 16.

“The Tata Motors will remain closed for four days from August 16. Officially it will be two days block closure but technically it will be closed for four days,” sources in Tata Motors on the condition of anonymity told IANS.

Tata Motors went for a day closure on August 1. It went for three block closure from August 8-10 and third block will be from August 16.

Sources in Tata Motors say there has been a sharp decline in purchase order of the vehicles from the Jamshedpur unit.

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Auto sales plunge 19%; highest monthly de-growth in 19 years

Last week, automobile sector representatives met Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to apprise her of the grim situation.

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Car Sale Down

New Delhi, Aug 13 (IANS) The domestic automobile industry on Tuesday sought revival measures from the government, even as data showed that overall sectoral off-take in July plunged 18.71 per cent, recording the highest monthly sales de-growth in the last 19 years.

Industry observers cited high cost due to GST and lack of adequate liquidity as the main reasons for the sales slowdown.

The data furnished by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), showed that total sales of the Indian automobile sector declined by 18.71 per cent during July to 1,825,148 units, from 2,245,223 units sold during the corresponding month of the previous year.

“We hope the government would come out very soon with a revival package of sorts to arrest the de-growth and to bring the industry back to a growth path,” SIAM Director General Vishnu Mathur said.

“We are hoping that the Finance Minister will issue some kind of measures to bring the industry back on the growth path.”

Last week, automobile sector representatives met Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to apprise her of the grim situation.

At present, the sector has proposed a reduction in GST rates, a scrappage policy and resolution of the liquidity and the non-banking finance company (NBFC) crisis.

The collapse of some large NBFCs has been cited as a major factor for the sales downturn as these companies used to provide the bulk of automobile financing.

Additionally, the data showed that passenger cars sales in the domestic market plunged by 35.95 per cent to 122,956 units, from 191,979 units sold during July 2018.

Furthermore, among the other sub-segments of passenger vehicles, the number of utility vehicles sold in India went down by 15.22 per cent to 67,030 units in July 2019, while 10,804 vans were sold last month, down 45.68 per cent from the corresponding month of 2018.

Overall, passenger vehicle sales declined 30.98 per cent in July to 200,790 units, from 290,931 units.

In the commercial vehicle segment, domestic sales were down by 25.71 per cent to 56,866 units last month, SIAM said.

Similarly, the data revealed that three-wheeler sales also decelerated. The segment’s off-take went down by 7.66 per cent to 55,719 units during the month in consideration.

In addition, overall sales of two-wheelers, which include scooters, motorcycles and mopeds, edged lower by 16.82 per cent to 1,511,692 units.

However, exports across categories were higher by 4.22 per cent to 414,596 units.

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Seltos rolls out of Kia Motors’ India plant

Since the commencement of pre-booking on July 16, Kia Seltos has already gathered 23,311 bookings.

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Kia Motors Indian Plant

Amaravati, Aug 8 (IANS) Seltos, the first car manufactured for India by South Korean auto major Kia Motors, rolled out of its plant in Andhra Pradesh’s Anantapur district on Thursday.

The world’s eighth largest automaker rolled out the production version of the sports utility vehicle (SUV), which will be launched on August 22.

The company announced the commencement of mass production of Seltos after testing the vehicle over 20 lakh km in different climatic conditions and some of the most challenging terrains in India.

The first Kia Seltos was rolled off the assembly line by South Korea’s ambassador to India, Shin Bong-kil, and Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Kia Motors India, Kookhyun Shim.

“The roll-out of the first Seltos is an emotional moment for all of us, especially for the people at the plant as we worked together relentlessly to build the future of Kia Motors in India. The invaluable contribution made by the government of Andhra Pradesh has enabled us to achieve our target of manufacturing the Seltos in record time. The first Seltos is the symbol of our promise and commitment to the Indian market,” said Kookhyun Shim.

“The Seltos will be BS-VI compliant right from its launch. It will be available in a highly efficient, brand new smart stream engine that will come in three variants: 1.5 Petrol, 1.5 Diesel and first in segment 1.4 Turbo Petrol, offering the perfect balance of performance and efficiency,” the company said.

The Seltos will be launched on August 22 and bookings are being accepted across all Kia dealerships along with the Kia official website.

Since the commencement of pre-booking on July 16, Kia Seltos has already gathered 23,311 bookings.

The Seltos is available for test drives across all Kia dealerships.

Kia’s manufacturing facility in Anantapur is spread over 536 acres and has an annual capacity of 300,000 vehicles. The plant will also be capable of producing hybrid and electric vehicles.

The plant in Anantapur is equipped with the most advanced global technologies such as robotics and artificial intelligence and is remarkably environment-friendly with capabilities like 100 per cent water recycling within the plant, the company said.

The plant also houses a five-acre training facility offering basic technical course (BTC) in automobiles for skill development to provide all skills necessary for an entry-level job on the factory floor.

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