Kuala Lumpur, Aug 9: Southeast Asia’s largest integrated car e-commerce platform CARSOME Group Inc (CARSOME) recently celebrated its seventh-year anniversary with trajectory growth across the region, off the back of over 260,000 completed transactions, millions of customers served through its platform and more than 18,000 cars sold per month across core markets.
Establishing a Household Brand in Southeast Asia’s Used Car Market
Since its establishment in 2015 with the core objective of solving customers’ pain points by bringing trust, choice and transparency, CARSOME has innovated the used-car market through data and technology and provided consumers with an alternative to buying and selling their used cars. The Malaysia-founded household brand has since grown and expanded in the region, resulting in the accolade of becoming Southeast Asia’s largest integrated car e-commerce platform.
CARSOME Co-founder and Group CEO Eric Cheng said it has been an amazing seven years that has seen the team through countless wins and some losses along the way. “Today, we are still working tirelessly to solidify ourselves as Southeast Asia’s largest integrated car e-commerce platform and I am proud of my diverse, strong and capable team who have supported CARSOME’s growth by delivering exceptional value to our customers,” Cheng added.
Bringing Innovation into the Used Car Ecosystem
Five years into its operations, CARSOME has successfully penetrated four core markets – Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand – by 2020, to emerge as the market leader in these countries. The pandemic did not halt its year-on-year growth; in fact, CARSOME’s business outside of Malaysia is expected to contribute up to 40 per cent of group revenue by the end of 2022.
While the pandemic has affected nearly every industry imaginable, CARSOME continued to expand its footprints and launched its retail business in 2020. From the first Experience Center in Malaysia to more than 20 across the region, CARSOME’s retail business now has become the fastest growing business for the company. In less than two years’ time, it has successfully delivered more than 10 times growth year-on-year. Today, it’s already contributing to more than 25 per cent of group revenue and is expected to contribute to about half of the group’s revenue in the mid-long term.
As it expands ‘Phygitally’ across the region, CARSOME currently has more than 120 Inspection and Experience Centers across the four markets that are interconnected by its established regional logistics hubs. To continue meeting customers’ increasing demand for quality used cars, CARSOME launched the region’s first and largest state-of-the-art refurbishment facility – the CARSOME Certified Lab in Malaysia – which has the capacity to recondition more than 2,000 cars per month. Onward from this success, CARSOME is planning to launch three more CARSOME Certified Labs by the end of 2022 to meet the retail reconditioning demands also in Indonesia and Thailand.
Driving the Used Car Industry through Partnerships and Talent Development
In its mission to innovate the used car ecosystem, CARSOME also contributed to the development of a skilled workforce and the establishment of a strategic alliance to better serve customers’ needs. In 2021, the company launched CARSOME Academy, a platform designed to offer Malaysian youths technical training and guaranteed career opportunities upon graduation.
Today, CARSOME Academy is accredited as a Recognition of Prior Achievement Center by the Department of Skill Development under the Ministry of Human Resources in Malaysia, in its effort to continue offering quality training to support the industry. This year, CARSOME Academy expanded to Indonesia and Thailand to further promote the automotive workforce and job opportunities within the region. As of today, CARSOME Academy has provided courses to more than 1,500 students totalling more than 6,000 hours of training.
It has also formed key partnerships to strengthen its leadership position, thus bringing solutions to the market that are powered by integrated data assets to better deliver the CARSOME promise to consumers. Among the strategic alliances that have been formed include the acquisitions of three entities – iCar Asia, which is Southeast Asia’s largest online auto classified platform, WapCar, leading auto content and social media platform; and CarTimes, Singapore’s award-winning and leading car dealership with decades of operating experiences (in which CARSOME recently acquired a 51 per cent stake).
Propelling CARSOME into the Future
Together with our strategic alliances, CARSOME now manages more than 14 million visitors monthly with a network of over 20,000 dealers. Earlier in the year, CARSOME was part of a consortium led by KAF Investment Bank to become one of the first batches of companies in Malaysia to be awarded a digital banking license. This marks a new milestone for the group and serves as a catalyst for it to drive the used car ecosystem and augment its ability to democratize financial access for underserved communities. More recently, CARSOME announced the appointment of football legend, Eric Cantona, as its brand ambassador. As one of the greatest footballers of his generation, Cantona and CARSOME both share a common drive in their relentless spirit to go above and beyond for their fans and consumers.
“Despite the current climate of an ongoing global recession, demands for used cars continue to remain resilient in Southeast Asia. At CARSOME, we are optimistic about our prospects and believe in strong growth in this sector for the next five years, ”Cheng concluded.
“CARSOME’s journey to be where it is today has truly been a remarkable one. It has given us many moments of gratification when we go beyond just solving customers’ pain points, to injecting innovation into an industry that was driven by traditional practices. Seven years on, we will continue to carry on with our goal of providing our customers with better peace of mind throughout their car transaction and ownership journey.”
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