With a presence in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Mexico, Myanmar, Nigeria and Pakistan, Rocket Internet-backed online vehicle marketplace Carmudi has revved up its engine to drive into Indonesia and the Philippines.
While its drive to make Indonesia and the Philippines two of its key markets in Asia is admirable, the automobile situation in both countries can be rather different. Stefan Haubold, Co-founder, Carmudi, told e27 that Nigeria is currently its biggest market since the company’s incorporation in 2013.
According to Associated Press, Indonesia had produced 1.2 million vehicles, beating neighbouring country Malaysia who only churned out 601,407 vehicles. To give further perspective, its fellow ASEAN member Thailand managed to stay at the top of Southeast Asia’s list with 2.3 million vehicles produced. In terms of sales, Jakarta Globe wrote that data from the ASEAN Automobile Federation had revealed that car sales in Indonesia had reached 1,020,389 units by October 2013, and was 102,879 units away from surpassing Thailand.
The Philippines, on the other hand, isn’t exactly looking optimistic in terms of volume of sales or production. While Oxford Business Group reported last October that the Philippines saw a jump of 46.3 percent in terms of personal car sales to hit over 5,000 units in the month of August 2012 alone, the target for sales was 210,000 units in 2013 seem terribly meagre in comparison to the other countries in the region.
That being said, Rommel Gutirrez, the President of the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, had noted that “the industry looked likely” to hit sales targets, which will represent a 15 percent overall growth.
Haubold also commented, “With rapid growth in the automotive industry in both the Philippines and Indonesia our move into these markets is a logical step in our expansion strategy. Indonesians and Filipinos are driving more cars, trucks and motorbikes than ever, which means the demand is there for a high-quality classifieds platform that meets the needs of both buyers and sellers.”
At the moment, there are quite a few reliable online marketplaces for those looking to buy and sell vehicles. In the Philippines, there is Pinoy Auto Trader and Mycars.ph, both of which operate in English and look relatively well-designed. Indonesia, however, has a number of local language sites like Berniaga.com, and Tokobagus. Interestingly, online travel agent Tiket had started offering car rentals on its platform last November.
With some form of competition in those countries, how will Carmudi be moving forward? Haubold said that it is the company’s aim to be one of the top three automotive classifieds players in all the countries they are currently active in by end-2014. However, he told e27 that it is more important to deliver a high quality service to achieve customer satisfaction.
He then added that consumers usually look for three things: transparency, a good deal for their money and a broad selection of cars to choose from. “They also want to compare car offers from different cities and locations on one site. This is what we offer at Carmudi.”
While Haubold declined to disclose any specific numbers regarding the volumes of listings and sales on Carmudi, he said that there are several thousand cars listed in all the countries the platform is available in.