Pre-owned SUV sales jump 40% in non-metro cities Q124: CARS24 report

This shift underscores a growing preference for larger, more premium vehicles in Tier II and Tier III cities, CARS24 said.

Autocar Pro News Desk By Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 15 Apr 2024 Views icon3180 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Pre-owned SUV sales jump 40% in non-metro cities Q124: CARS24 report

SUV (sports utility vehicles) are no longer an urban-only phenomenon. In fact, on the open roads of non-metro cities, SUVs have emerged as the frontrunners, witnessing a remarkable 40% surge in sales this quarter, autotech player CARS24 has said in its Drive time Quarterly report, shedding light on the evolving preferences of today's consumers. The first quarter was led by SUV lovers and millennials based out in nooks and corners of the country who saw the value of owning a pre-loved car.

This shift underscores a growing preference for larger, more premium vehicles in Tier II and Tier III cities, CARS24 said.

Driven by the SUVs' versatility, comfort, and advanced features, models like the Ford Ecosport, Hyundai Creta, Tata Nexon, Maruti Suzuki Brezza, and Hyundai Venue are leading the charge, according to the report. The streets are buzzing with excitement as consumers seek the perfect blend of style and substance in their rides.

“This quarter has seen our platform come alive, with a remarkable pace of 6 cars being purchased every hour.  The trend towards used cars is stronger than ever, transforming the entire auto scene. It's not just tweaking the rules; it's rewriting them in real-time. This isn't a blip on the radar; it's a seismic wave of change. Old habits are out, new trends are in, and we're all players in this epic transformation,” Gajendra Jangid, Co-founder of CARS24, said.

“In the first quarter of this year, a significant shift in consumer behaviour unfolded across Tier II and Tier III cities. Compared to the same period last year, there was a striking 30% rise in the inclination towards used cars, eclipsing the demand for new ones. This growing acceptance of pre-owned vehicles indicates a changing mind-set among buyers, who are now looking beyond brand-new models,” the report said.

Cities like Ahmedabad, Kochi, Jaipur, Surat, Bhopal, Indore, and Lucknow are embracing this trend, viewing cars as more than just transportation but as symbols of style and status. This surge in interest has further fuelled the market for pre-owned cars with premium features, marking an exciting evolution in the automotive landscape.

Additionally, the quarter saw a significant 30% increase in automatic car sales in non-metro markets, reflecting a shift in consumer preferences towards vehicles offering ease of use and integrated luxury features. This trend highlights a growing demand for cars that seamlessly blend premium aesthetics with cutting-edge technology. Features like sunroofs, CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility, alloy wheels, GPS systems, and rear-view cameras have become standard requirements for the modern driver, transforming the driving experience into a seamless and enjoyable journey, the report said.

The report found that models like Maruti Suzuki Swift and Baleno were amongst the most popular choices. Hyundai and Honda, too, are becoming a huge preference for customers.

“More people also opted for SUVs from these brands than ever before. Creta being the most popular followed by Brezza, CRV and Ertiga,” the report said.

The company said that in a mere 90 days, loans worth Rs 335 crores were disbursed thanks to a user-friendly financing approach that bypasses traditional down payments, simplifying vehicle ownership. “This model particularly resonates with first-time buyers, indicating a significant lean towards more accessible car purchasing avenues. The demographic tilt towards a millennial majority seeking to boost their mobility reflects a deliberate pursuit of personal transport solutions,” it said.

Furthermore, this trend isn't confined to India's urban centres; about 30% of loan applicants this quarter came from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, demonstrating the widening influence of car financing as a vital tool for vehicle acquisition in more rural areas. “The Grand i10 stands out as the preferred choice, highlighting a nationwide consensus across various regions. The average EMI on pre-loved cars in Q1 2024 was Rs 10,200,” it adds.

In the first quarter of 2024, Indians embraced the opportunity to sell their cars to CARS24, resulting in a collective amount of Rs 1385 crore in transactions, the report said. “This period marked a significant uptick in seller participation, indicating a vibrant and active market. What's noteworthy is how customers actively contributed to addressing the demand-supply gap by introducing newer cars into circulation. This influx of younger vehicles also broadened the array of options available to potential buyers in the pre-owned car market,” it said.

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