'Pre-owned luxury cars offer better value for money': Niraj Singh
Niraj Singh, Founder and CEO of Spinny Max, a pre-owned luxury car start-up talks about redefining the buying experience of customers by building trust.
Automotive technology start-up, Spinny, which was founded in 2014, is making inroads into India’s growing pre-owned car market. This is a segment where traditionally trust has been an issue due to the market being dominated by unorganised players. Spinny hopes to address this problem with its tech-oriented processes that aim to enhance trust.
The new-age start-up is now eying speedy growth in the luxury used car market where the higher value offered by these vehicles, as well as the long wait times on new cars are driving buyers towards ‘almost-new’ pre-owned options.
Spinny Max – the company’s luxury used car brand – is trying to create a niche by focusing on procuring quality pre-owned cars from individuals, refurbishing them for aesthetic value, and offering warranty, servicing and buyback guarantee options to discerning customers. Niraj Singh, Founder and CEO of Spinny spoke with Autocar Professional about these plans and more.
What potential do you see in the used luxury car market in India? What are the key demand drivers?
The luxury used car market is growing faster than the non-luxury space due to rising aspirations of buyers coupled with better solutions like easy access to financing options, increased assortment and model availability and increasing transparency of the transactions. As per industry estimates, the luxury used car segment in India is poised to grow at an annual rate of 20 percent, with volumes nearing 60,000 units every year.
Pre-owned luxury cars offer better value to customers, allowing them to enter the luxury segment at a much lower price point than a new car. In addition, luxury cars, on an average, tend to have a lower age in the pre-owned car market, compared to small- and mid-size cars. Therefore, many young and aspiring consumers across cities and towns in India have been seen exploring used luxury cars.
What explains the increase in demand for luxury pre-owned cars in India?
While the luxury used car market previously saw traction only from the metros, of late, buyers from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities are also buying these vehicles. The rise in demand is due to consumers' preference for luxury cars and the inclination of the country’s youth toward top brands. In countries like India, where the disposable incomes of upper-middle-class people have grown over the years, professionals in the age bracket of 30-40 years old are starting to aspire to buy luxury cars much earlier in life.
The segment is also experiencing substantial traction with waiting periods on new luxury cars going through the roof due to supply chain constraints, and the demand getting catered to by the rising number of organised and trustworthy retail platforms that offer premium experiences and services to customers.
What was the idea behind introducing Spinny Max as a separate brand and what are its key USPs?
Spinny was founded in 2015 with the key principle of ensuring quality products in the used car market. Six years down the line, after witnessing young India’s affinity for aspirational spending and its appetite for luxury vehicles, we launched Spinny Max as a separate vertical to create a niche in the pre-owned car market for luxury automobiles, with the brand putting emphasis on accessible luxury. It was a strategic business move, in tandem with the market demand.
With demand for preowned luxury cars on the rise, it is also important to note that luxury cars are made differently and therefore, it requires highly skilled professionals who can evaluate a pre-owned car in the right way, diagnose it properly, and suggest refurbishments as and when required. The customers who purchase such cars are also very different from buyers of mainstream cars.
What are the main considerations for customers looking at pre-owned high-end cars?
We ensure all cars stocked under Spinny Max are well maintained and we strive to deliver transparency and trust to the customer by offering a comprehensive warranty, as well as money-back guarantee. Each car is thoroughly vetted. The pre-buying test drives as well as extended warranty plans are designed with highest levels of quality and support, keeping customer delight and simplicity at the forefront.
Therefore, Spinny Max is pioneering an online experience in luxury used car buying and selling, serving the aspirations of many Indians who are on the fence to own a luxury automobile. As there is big money involved in a used luxury car transaction, our biggest USP is eliminating the lack of trust with our high-quality offerings.
Our aim is to create a niche in the market for luxury automobiles, making accessible luxury a reality. A premium used car has it all, from social standing to aesthetic appeal to dependability. At Spinny Max, we provide distinct benefits such as buyback value, simple financing alternatives, premium insurance, assurance of the right price, a five-day money back guarantee, after-sale maintenance services, transparent paperwork, and documentation among other value oriented add-ons.
What problems do you see in the luxury pre-owned car segment that would be solved by Spinny Max?
The credibility and quality of luxury cars are very crucial in the pre-owned segment. This is due to multiple factors, one of which being the costly repair of luxury cars in the aftermarket. There are very few reliable vendors, who can provide service and repair luxury cars well, which prompts customers to rely on authorised OEM service centres for servicing and repair of their cars which is usually a costly affair.
This is why it is imperative that when consumers buy a pre-owned luxury car they do so after a thorough check. Moreover, customers entering the luxury segment for the first time are unaware of the key features and facts about luxury cars. This demands transparency and a deeper understanding of luxury brands.
At Spinny Max, we strive hard to ensure that customers have all the required information so that they can make the right decision, and we believe word of mouth is the biggest business builder for us. Our focus area continues to be providing seamless customer experience to our audience and offering them quality used luxury cars.
Where does Spinny stand in terms of customer trustworthiness when compared with local dealers?
The unorganised segment, largely comprising local and smaller players, does not usually have the capability of guaranteeing a good quality car, whereas Spinny is building that understanding and reconditioning processes at scale.
This ensures that our cars are not only aesthetically sound but are also reliable from a longterm operational perspective. Furthermore, local players operate with lesser assortment due to working capital issues, whereas Spinny operates with a larger assortment that translates into more choices for the buyer. We also ship cars nationally. An individual from Tier- 2 or Tier- 3 city can access our online stock.
Therefore, as a brand, we have been able to build much better trust with our customers by virtue of our robust processes, consumer programs and high-quality products.
How do you plan to compete with used car retail arms of premium car OEMs operating in the space?
We take the competition in a healthy and positive way. The way to do that is to carve out our edge in the services that we provide to our customers. The pre-owned car market in India has matured compared to what it was a few years ago, and there is a place for everyone, be it independent players as well as OEMs.
As demand for pre-owned vehicles continues to rise, more players are expected to enter the market and this will certainly change the dynamics of the business, making it more transparent. We will always have significant growth with factors like rising aspiration of customers, frequent launches of new products, increased options and transparency for the buyers, easier availability of finance, insurance, servicing, warranty options and better awareness.
What are Spinny's risks in offering a warranty on such high-end cars?
There are no risks as such. We focus on the quality of cars from the procurement process itself. Therefore, the cars that we sell are very reliable and are of high quality. We can provide warranty on our cars because we know our cars and their quality very well. Warranties give consumers peace of mind and make the ownership more delightful and stress free.
This interview was first published in Autocar Professional's April 1, 2023 issue.
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