Carsome makes V-Shaped Recovery in June; On Track for Record High Transaction Volume in July
Southeast Asia’s largest online used car trading platform, Carsome has successfully made a V-shaped recovery since resuming business amid easing Covid-19 lockdown measures across Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore.
In June, Carsome has almost fully recovered its high transaction volume pre-lockdown periods, leading to a three fold jump over May 2020, and over 70 percent year-on-year increase. This was despite most of its inspection centers operating in limited capacity during the lockdown periods.
Carsome Co-Founder and Group CEO Eric Cheng attributes the quick recovery to the resilience of the sector, as well as the decision to persevere and intensively train Carsome’s workforce during the lockdowns amid industry layoffs, which contributed to significant productivity improvement and high team morale.
“We continuously invested in strengthening the core competencies of our team during the lockdowns. We are pleased to see a strong V-shape recovery in a matter of weeks, in part due to our accelerated digitalisation and strong market share gains over our competitors. Our business model has proven to be resilient, and we are on track to deliver all-time-high growth in July,” Cheng said.
The introduction of new tax tariffs in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand have also contributed to strong consumer demands in new and used cars, as consumers continue to shun public transport and ride-sharing services in view of the pandemic situation. Their turn to private car ownership due to hygiene factors led to higher inspections uptick across all Carsome centers, with notable rise in car disposals. On the other side of the coin, Carsome also saw stronger demand from its used car dealers in restocking their inventory to cater for the pent-up demand.
Cheng further added that during the lockdowns, Carsome accelerated product development so that the company could be the first out of the gate post-lockdown. “We pushed ahead with several product launches, namely our CarPartner and CarsomeGO mobile apps, to further automate workflows and decision-making,” Cheng said.
CarPartner is a mobile app that allows Carsome’s partners to make car inspection appointments, check appointment statuses, and get estimated car values instantly. CarsomeGO is a separate mobile app in Indonesia that allows local used car dealers to bid for cars on-the-go, at their own comfort.
Separately, according to Carsome’s Consumer Survey conducted across the region in April, consumer confidence towards car-selling services such as Carsome in Malaysia and Indonesia remains strong. One in every four Malaysians and Indonesians surveyed expressed their willingness to continue using online car-selling services.
The study also discovered that 34 percent of Malaysians, 43 percent of Indonesians and 25 percent of Thais surveyed plan to sell their cars within the next 12 months, with most citing the reasons being wanting to get rid of their old cars or have more cash on hand.
According to Cheng, Carsome will continue the upbeat momentum for the rest of the year with several new projects, including creating a significantly different experience buying used cars, as well as upskilling the workforce through accreditation.