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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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Cars24 shuts down

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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Audi launches new A6 sedan; priced Rs 54 lakh onwards

“The new Audi A6 heralds the very best of luxury and technology, while also marking the entry of our first BS-VI compliant model in the country.”

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Audi A6

New Delhi, Oct 24 : German luxury car manufacturer Audi on Thursday launched the new Audi A6 in India, with price starting at Rs 54.20 lakh onwards.

According to the company, the new model is equipped with a powerful 2.0L TFSI engine and generates 180kW (245 hp) and 370 Nm of torque propelling the car from 0 to 100 km per hour in 6.8 seconds.

Commenting on the launch, Balbir Singh Dhillon, Head of Audi India, said: “With the launch of the new Audi A6, we are presenting the eighth generation of the successful full size sedan that brings numerous innovations to the segment.”

“The new Audi A6 heralds the very best of luxury and technology, while also marking the entry of our first BS-VI compliant model in the country.”

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Auto slowdown dents BJP’s prospects in state polls

In Maharashtra, the BJP had targeted 200 plus seats in the 288-member Assembly. It’s poised to win 103 seats and its ally, the Shiv Sena, over 57 seats.

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Auto Sector Automobile

New Delhi/Mumbai, Oct 24 : Auto sector’s diminishing fortunes seem to have dented the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) electoral prospects in major automobile producing states of Haryana and Maharashtra.

Automobile manufacturing belts, like Gurugram-Manesar in Haryana and Chakan-Pune in Maharashtra, house companies such as Maruti Suzuki, Hero MotoCorp, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter, and thousands of auto ancillaries.

Also, as the economic slowdown hit industries in these states, the BJP could not record the level of electoral victory it was expected to achieve.

“The people here faced hardships due to the slowdown and lay-offs, which impacted the BJP’s electoral prospects to some extent,” said Rajesh Shukla, General Secretary of the Hero MotoCorp Workers Union.

In Haryana, the BJP failed to cross the halfway mark in the 90-member Assembly. The BJP won 40 seats, but all its Ministers lost, barring one. The BJP had set a target of winning 75 seats in Haryana.

In Maharashtra, the BJP had targeted 200 plus seats in the 288-member Assembly. It’s poised to win 103 seats and its ally, the Shiv Sena, over 57 seats.

According to industry insiders and locals, the economy of these areas is dependent upon the income generated via employment and other businesses associated with automobile manufacturing.

The slowdown, which led to lay-offs and lesser numbers of production days at the factories in these belts, impacted local businesses more than anywhere else in the country.

The auto industry is facing a demand slowdown on account of high goods and services tax (GST), farm distress, stagnant wages and liquidity constraints.

In September, all major original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) comprising passenger, commercial, two- and three-wheeler manufacturers reported massive decline in domestic sales.

As per the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) sales figures, the overall sectoral off-take in the domestic market plunged 22.41 per cent in September. In August, it had declined 23.55 per cent.

This level of downturn was witnessed only once earlier, in December 2000, when the decline was registered at 21.81 per cent. The available data series started in 1997-98.

According to industry estimates, around 15,000 contractual manufacturing jobs have been lost and another million are at risk if the slowdown is not reversed.

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Historic fall in India vehicles sales enters 11th month

Besides, two-wheeler sales – often tracked to analyse the rural markets health – were also down 22.09 per cent.

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Auto sector slowdown

New Delhi, Oct 11 : Despite a 135 basis point interest rate cut since February and a number of measures announced by the Central government, including a sharp corporate tax cut, domestic vehicle sales plummeted for the 11th straight month in September.

Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) data released on Friday showed that total commercial vehicle sales — a proxy for the economy’s commercial health — steeply fell by 39 per cent to 58,419 units in September.

Rating agency ICRA had, earlier this month, said its outlook on the domestic commercial vehicle sector was negative, considering the sharp correction in vehicle sales amid slowing economic growth, overcapacity and tight financing environment.

Signs that the customers were still away from showrooms was clearly visible in passenger vehicles sales data, which witnessed a decline of 23.69 per cent to 223,317 units this September.

Passenger cars sales witnessed de-growth of of 33.4 per cent to 131,281 units. In August, sales were down 41 per cent.

SIAM President, Rajan Wadhera, however, told reporters that the festive season retail sales that are monitored on a regular basis is “good” but avoided giving any sales forecast.

“The Navaratri sale has also been good and if we compare it to the sales from last year, the sale has been nearly 10-12 per cent better,” he said.

Wadera stressed that owing to number of government steps and ongoing festive season, the consumer sentiments have improved. Consumer confidence, the Reserve Bank of Indian showed, dipped to six-year low in September.

Besides, two-wheeler sales – often tracked to analyse the rural markets health – were also down 22.09 per cent.

Three-wheeler sales declined by 6.66 percent in April-September 2019 over the same period last year. Within three-wheelers, passenger carrier sales registered a de-growth of 6.37 percent and that of goods carriers declined by 7.98 percent in April-September 2019 over April-September 2018.

In the two-wheeler segment, sales registered a de-growth of 16.18 percent in April-September 2019 over April-September 2018 while in the segment, scooters, motorcycles and mopeds declined by 16.94 per cent, 15.24 per cent and 25.33 per cent, respectively, in April-September 2019 over the comparable period last year.

Overall domestic automobile sales fell 22.41 per cent in September 2019. In August, the sales data had showed that overall sectoral offtake in the domestic market had plunged 23.55 per cent.

This level of downturn was witnessed only once earlier, in December 2000, when the de-growth was registered at 21.81 per cent. The available data series commences from 1997-98.

However, exports across categories inched-up by 0.68 per cent to 417,232 units from 414,428 units shipped-out during September 2018.

The sales decline has forced several auto markers were forced to announce production cuts and slash workforce in order to cut losses.

Automobile production declined by (-)18.29 per cent in September to 2,406,640 units across segments and categories.

“There is a small element of positive performance, if one were to look at the volume growth, on a sequential basis across segments and this is coming out of some new introductions and discounts offered. But this is nowhere near the volumes seen in the previous year,” Grant Thornton India LLP Partner Sridhar V. told IANS.

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