Thailand has been an automotive manufacturing hub for the South East Asian region for a while. It is also a market where the average per capita car ownership is higher than many ASEAN countries with further room to grow. Used cars sales already outpace new car sales by approximately 2:1. Experts believe this car ownership number will increase with more households choosing personal cars as a safe mode to travel in the aftermath of COVID. “We strongly believe that Thailand will be at the forefront of the changing trends in the auto industry in the region, and we hope to play our part as CARS24 in enabling it” said Abhijeet Dabas, CEO of CARS24 South East Asia
Thai consumers are amongst the most digitally savvy in the region; spending almost 4 hours a day online and moving more and more of their purchases online with Ecom set to grow +25% YoY.
Thai consumers are becoming more value conscious due to the effect of the pandemic. Pre-owned cars are becoming a smart choice for customers looking for value. The pandemic has delayed purchasing; however, this pent-up demand is expected to manifest in an upsurge in transaction bulge in the coming quarters. Today there are more than 3.5 million Thais who are intending to buy a car within the next 12 months, according to AC Nielsen. “The demand for pre-owned cars in Thailand is rising. However, the current process is not so convenient for consumers, creating barriers to purchase. We hope to be able to bring forth a never-seen-before seamless experience of buying and selling pre-owned cars to consumers in Thailand, while continuously learning from them on how to improve our offering”, said Abhijeet.
CARS24 is one of Asia’s fastest growing auto tech Unicorn, building an online brand of pre-owned cars. The company was incorporated in Singapore and proved the model in India by becoming the number one player in the used car category within 3 years of launch. It is now set for expansion across Asia and Australasia; launching business in UAE and Australia this year with Thailand as a fast follow. “The journey of CARS24 started 6 years ago with the goal of transforming the used car buying and selling experience for consumers in India. However, over the last year we have transformed our ambition to becoming a leading global auto-tech platform. While we have many valuable learnings from the first 6 years in India, we treat each new market with the same curiosity and respect as we treated the first one, and try to create solutions that work for that market as opposed to adopting a one-size-fits-all approach” Said Abhijeet
With the ambition to become a true game-changer and the undisputed leader in the Thailand pre-owned car market, Abhijeet added, “Our vision is to provide a seamless and fully online experience and become the ‘default’ choice for Thais looking to buy or sell pre-owned cars. Pre-owned cars are a large and growing category, but almost all transactions currently happen offline and with many pain-points. We hope to be at the forefront of driving a change in consumer behavior to adopt online car buying and selling as the norm rather than as an exception and make it a truly ‘joyful’ experience.”
To drive success, Abhijeet added “Our partnerships will play a key role in building a strong and sustainable business model. We like taking a long-term view towards business. It is great to see that our partners share our vision of being able to upgrade the customer experience in this category, and we are confident that by working closely with them, we will be able to create win-win propositions for them as well as our customers”
With a clear vision, CARS24 is placing a big bet on young local talents to create this shift. “We strongly believe that the foundation to building a winning business in a country is to build a strong team with a local core. CARS24 will provide candidates the unique opportunity of being part of a fast-growing unicorn, a global workforce, and to play a part in the transformation of the auto category. It is our ambition to be one of the best places to work in the region” said Abhijeet
A rising star in Thailand’s startup industry, CARS24 looks all set to transform and lead the auto category into the new era of Ecom. “We believe that, with our customer centricity, innovation, and service model, CARS24 will not only close the gaps in the current pre-owned cars landscape but will also redefine what a great car buying experience should be. We believe that when it comes to buying pre-owned cars, Thais deserve better, and CARS24 only offers the best!” Abhijeet concluded.