Used-car marketplace CarDekho has launched its first franchise retail store in Jaipur, India.
The new venture, called TrustMark, follows CarDekho’s decision to invest $20 million U.S. in its used-car business last year. The company hopes to launch 250 franchise stores across 1,000 cities in India by 2022. After Jaipur, CarDekho’s offline footprint is likely to extend to Bengaluru and Delhi NCR, the company announced.
The Covid-19 pandemic has led to increased demand for budget-friendly used cars as commuters look for alternatives to public transit. “Commuters are increasingly opting for personal mobility at a lower cost,” Amit Jain, CarDekho’s co-founder and CEO, told Mint. “Used car transactions for every new car sold would increase from 1.3 in FY19-20 to over 1.8 during FY20-21,” Jain added.
The rising cost of BS6-compliant (emission standards) new cars has also incentivized buyers to turn towards used cars across India. In a survey conducted by CarDekho, 37% respondents expressed interest to buy a car after the pandemic abates, while 48% respondents were interested in doorstep test-drive options.
In response, CarDekho has launched several value-added services in the retail stores, including the TrustMark certification, which guarantees that vehicles are inspected before sale. Additional incentives include six-month warranties, 7-day return options, financing options and doorstep test drives.
TrustMark franchise stores complete CarDekho’s offline business model that includes Gaadi stores, where the company buys used cars from owners. There are over 50 Gaadi stores operational across India at the moment. “They are operating at a higher run-rate currently,” Amit said.
Founded in 2008 and headquartered in Jaipur, CarDekho Group is owned and operated by GirnarSoft. The parent company also runs auto portals Gaadi, ZigWheels and Philippines-based Carmudi. The company recently made headlines for recession-related layoffs.