Another online car sales site launches, with an Asean scope

  • Foresees 50% of new cars will be booked online in next 3-5yrs
  • Comes at a time for falling used-car sales in Malaysia
Another online car sales site launches, with an Asean scope

 
MALAYSIAN startup Tookar is challenging the status quo of the region’s automotive industry with the launch of what it claims is the Asean’s first online car exchange for dealers, sellers and buyers.
 
“Malaysia is a nation that loves cars, with almost 666,700 vehicles sold last year in the country according to the Malaysia Automotive Association (MAA),” Tookar’s angel investor and cofounder Wei Chuan Beng (pic above) said at the launch in Kuala Lumpur on Aug 22.
 
In fact, Malaysia has the third highest car ownership in the world at 93%, and the highest incidence of multiple car ownership with 54% of households having more than one car, according to a report from Nielsen Global Survey of Automotive Demand.
 
The launch of the new site comes at a time when analyst firm Frost & Sullivan sees a downtrend in the country’s used-car market.
 
Used-car sales volumes in Malaysia are expected to fall from 394,000 units in 2014 to 300,700 units in 2020, the firm said in a May 2015 report, citing the falling prices of new cars as one reason.
 
Unfortunately, the process of buying a new car at the best bargain involves a lot of hassles, said Wei, also the managing director of telecommunications services provider REDtone International.
 
“You need to meet and negotiate with multiple dealers spread across different locations. This is made even more difficult for buyers living in semi-urban or rural areas that lack sufficient car dealerships,” he said.
 
Wei said that many people are comfortable buying items online, and a car is no different.
 
“Most people between 20 and 40 years of age would be in the market to buy a car and are comfortable performing e-commerce transactions.
 
“We believe that over the course of the next three to five years, 50% of new car [sales] will be conducted online,” he added.
 
Leveraging on the power of the Internet and mobile technology, Tookar claims to provide a seamless online car-buying experience.
 
Buyers need only to log on to the Tookar website, select the car model of their choice, and name their price by requesting a desired discount.
 
The requested price would then be sent to sellers from multiple authorised car dealerships.
 
According to Tookar, cars booked online through its service are all brand new with the exact same specifications by the manufacturer, making it easy for users to make comparisons across the different dealers.
 
“One of the key advantages of Tookar is that it allows buyers to openly negotiate for the best bargain with all the dealers at the same time,” said Wei.
 
“For sellers, Tookar offers an easy, fast and convenient platform to generate additional sales revenue,” he added.
 
Once a price match is made using Tookar’s ‘double auction’ method – which matches prices from buyer and seller to identify the best match – the deal is set with the committed buyer paying an online deposit to the seller and signing a Vehicle Sales Order (VSO).
 
The seller would then prepare the car according to specifications and deliver it to the buyer’s doorstep.
 
Tookar currently carries 12 brands of cars and has a network of over 200 authorised dealers nationwide.
 
Though it is still concentrated in Peninsular Malaysia, Wei said it will expand its dealer network to include those from Sabah and Sarawak in the coming month.
 
Tookar also aims to expand its range of services to include trade-in programmes as well as widen the number of brands it carries in the next few months, and is also targeting to expand to other Asean countries over the next three years.
 
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