In an interview with Peter M. Zollman, founding principal of the AIM Group (LinkedIn profile) at the AutosBuzz conference in Barcelona today, Juliet Zhu, president and chief financial officer of Carsome (LinkedIn profile), discussed the company’s potential for growth in Southeast Asia. Founded in 2015, Carsome operates a transaction model and has 12 million unique monthly visitors, 12,000 used car transactions a month and is currently working with more than 10,000 dealers. Some 90% of the vehicles that it sells are sourced directly from consumers.

Zhu observed that with “the top 10 dealers having less than 2% market share, the used-car industry is ripe for disruption.” With most used-car dealers in the region having between five and 10 cars in stock at any one time, “the offline alternative is very bad … our [customer] experience is significantly better.” A study commissioned by Carsome forecast that online penetration in automotive transactions in the region would rise from 1.3% to 7.3% between 2021 and 2026.

Zhu said that while Carsome does not perform cross-border transactions, 70% of the company’s wholesale transactions in Malaysia are inter-city. She also noted that the company’s return rate was just 0.1%, going so far as to say that “we don’t get enough returns,” as they enable Carsome to hone its customer service.

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