The used car market in India is expected to notch robust growth as the recent pandemic has pushed the need for private vehicles. But how is the premium passenger vehicle segment faring? Big Boy Toyz, a premium pre-owned car company, is expecting the industry to boom even with the current crisis. Jatin Ahuja, founder and CEO, Big Boy Toyz speaks on its plans, sales pre and post-Covid and more.
The company posted an annual turnover of Rs 225 crore in 2019 and deals with 24 different brands including Ferrari, Bentley and Lamborghini. It has showrooms in Gurgaon, Mumbai and Hyderabad. Excerpts from a recent interview
Do you think touch and feel are very important to buy a car rather than online information?
Once upon a time, it used to be so. However, looking at the current situation where consumer safety is of prime importance this might change. With the introduction of the 360-degree virtual tour of our showroom via our website, consumer satisfaction track record over the past 17 years in the Indian auto industry. The majority of the vehicles are booked at BBT by consumers without physically being present at the showroom. They choose the car, make a certain amount of payment (as per procedure) and see the car for the first time once it is delivered at their doorstep.
Big Boy Toyz - pre, during and post Covid-19 lockdown. How did you move ahead during these tough times? And, how have the sales been?
During the lockdown, we always thought that the purchasing power of people would be affected. However, the psyche of the people has been focused on purchasing products which give value for money and authenticity. Thus the pre-owned luxury sector has seen quite a positive consumer response. Since we cater to a niche consumer bracket, and personal mobility has been the major focus, we have already surpassed the growth rate compared to that of the same time last year.
Also, the plan has always been to enhance the concept of making quality cars available for our consumers. Now, digitalisation has emerged as a major player in terms of long term plans. The pandemic and lockdown have been kind to the pre-owned auto industry in the country. The way forward is to digitally strengthen the business.
The company is targeting an ambitious Rs 500 crore revenue by selling 500 cars a year. How has it been so far?
Due to the global crisis, we were initially afraid to achieve the set target. But due to our excellent strategy and farsightedness, we have been able to sell a total of 140 luxury cars since the pandemic. The cars are within the price range from Rs 50 lakh to Rs 1.50 crore are seeing the maximum off-take in terms of consumer preference. We are looking at clocking in overall growth and not just a festive season spike. Last year we closed at Rs 225 crore as annual turnover, we look to close FY2020 at Rs 300 crore.
How is the consumer response to the new digital platform and how has it helped in your sales?
BBT has been pushing the concept of digitalisation long before the trend to stay upbeat. During the lockdown, we at Big Boy Toyz introduced the 360-degree virtual tour of our headquarters via our website and also launched our app. Currently, 75 percent of our car sales are happening via our digital space. Our newly launched app also allows the consumers to book their cars by comparing luxury cars across 228 parameters.
After the pandemic, everybody is looking for a low-cost solution. Will this affect your goals?
Customers are basically looking for products that will give them value for money. Thus they are making a shift from new cars to pre-owned cars, as they do not want to block huge sums into one asset at this point. The pre-owned luxury car industry shall not be affected as the clientele for the same is niche. In the pre-owned car segment, consumers prefer less kilometres-driven quality cars with value for money.
How is the Indian market and pre-owned vehicles in the luxury segment?
Previously consumers were not so sure of the India pre-owned vehicle industry. They had the perception of various issues. However, with constant quality checks and proper checkpoints, we have ensured we give the customers the best. We started maintaining transparency and hassle-free business models for the dealing of the car. Also, our warranty and buyback policy assure the customers.
Which part of the country do you see more traction?
Location plays a significant role in our industry. While buyers from Tier-1 cities may be interested in monetising deals, it is mostly the aspirational buyers from the Tier-2 and 3 cities who come looking for used luxury cars for better value for money. Around 50 percent of pre-owned luxury cars come from Tier- 2 and non-metros.