Carro drives Into Japan through partnership with Softbank
By Digital News Asia September 23, 2022
- Plans to expand marketplace for individual users
- Aims to introduce subscription-based services and car leasing
Southeast Asia's largest used car marketplace, Carro, has announced its expansion into Japan through a joint venture with SoftBank Corporation (SoftBank).
In a statement, the used car marketplace said as part of its entry, Carro Japan Co. Ltd. (Carro Japan) aims to introduce its full suite of services, such as subscription-based services and car leasing.
It said through this strategic partnership, Carro’s technology will digitally match traditional car leasing with corporate users in Japan.
The partnership will also involve multiple leasing companies, with plans to expand the marketplace for individual users, Carro said.
Carro chief executive officer and co-founder Aaron Tan said Japan is one of the leading automotive markets and most digitally-savvy countries in Asia.
“Our entry into Japan is the next natural step in growing our regional presence and helping traditional dealers expand their market reach across the country using our AI-technology-backed capabilities.
“We’ll start by providing car subscription services with Softbank as a first step, and eventually plan to work with thousands of dealerships across Japan to play an active role in offering consumers a hassle-free buying and selling experience,” said Tan.
In recent years, Japan has seen an increase in demand for used cars and subscription-based services, resulting from the backdrop of rising prices of new vehicles and a growing need for car ownership, Carro said.
However, the difficulty of accurately assessing a used car's valuation due to the inconsistent and lack of credible evaluation criteria has led to several barriers to entry within the used car marketplace in the country, it added.
Carro Japan said it will support existing car dealers with leasing services and provide a highly competitive subscription-based service.
Additionally, Carro’s AI technology will be incorporated to accurately predict the valuation of used cars based on their history and data, the firm claimed.
SoftBank's key role in Carro Japan will be to tailor services for the Japanese market, including marketing, sales, and collaboration with partner companies.
Carro said, with its entry into Japan, corporate clients can apply for the subscription-based service by stating their requirements for a used car via Carro Japan’s website, including vehicle size, mileage, non-smoking or smoking options, and more.
A list of suitable used cars available for hire will be automatically generated for consideration, it added.
Carro Japan will also allow users to apply for various ancillary services that will improve the efficiency and safety of operations related to the use and management of company-owned vehicles.
Additionally, Carro Japan plans to expand this service to individual users by collaborating with Line Corporation, a group company of SoftBank.
As part of the joint venture, SoftBank will lead its 'Beyond Japan' initiative to expand into East Asian countries and promote business development outside Japan, it said.
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