Philippines-based auto marketplace AutoDeal.com.ph has faced unique challenges in its evolution since its launch in 2014.
AutoDeal enables car buyers to simultaneously request multiple quotations from new and used car dealers. It manages these requests with its dealership lead-management technology, “enabling smooth and hassle-free transactions with accredited agents. Frontier Digital Ventures acquired a stake in the company in 2017.
Christopher Franks (LinkedIn profile), AutoDeal co-founder and COO, said that AutoDeal was transactional “out of necessity” because the online deal generation model didn’t work in the Philippines. Dealers told us “We don’t want leads, we want sales,” he said.
He added that leads were primarily through email and that dealers were usually very slow to respond to them, either due to a lack of manpower or employee oversight.
As a result, AutoDeal focused on providing solutions for tasks that dealers weren’t already doing, launching an online application to maximize the sales funnel. Thanks to this innovation, average dealer response time had been reduced from 120 hours in 2016 to less than one hour in 2021, he said.
Customers now engage with AutoDeal’s own sales team, who broker the transaction. Franks noted that this was an apt model for the Philippines because third-party brokering is widely used and understood in the country.
Franks said that AutoDeal generated revenue from referral fees from dealers, finance and insurance. He added that the company left closing the final sale to the dealer because “red tape is a nightmare” in the country.
According to Franks, on a used vehicle sold for $16,000 U.S., AutoDeal had the potential to earn between $1,400 and $1,600 in commission and additional revenue from finance, insurance etc. He said that the company made more money selling used cars than new cars.
Franks was presenting at AutosBuzz 2023, the AIM Group’s automotive conference in Lisbon, Portugal.