Speaking to TechGraph, Sumit Garg Managing Director & Co-founder of Luxury Ride said, “Just like any other industry even the pre-owned car industry experienced a hit due to the pandemic.”
Read the complete interview:
Could you help give a sense of how far Luxury Ride has come since its existence? From when it began to where it is now?
Sumit Garg: When Luxury Ride came into existence in the year 2012, we were struggling to arrange for cars to showcase in our first showroom in Delhi. At that time, I requested my mentor and seed investor to lend me cars just for display in the showroom. But over the years we came a long way given to our passion for luxury cars in perfect combination with persistence and hard work.
Our second outlet at my home town Karnal, to date, is India’s largest single-location showroom with the capacity to display 50+ cars. Since then there was no looking back and today Luxury Ride has 7 showrooms across North India in New Delhi, Gurugram, Karnal, Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Jaipur, and Dehradun.
How do you prepare in the highly disruptive pre-owned luxury car sector?
Sumit Garg: The pre-owned car market in India is seeing a phenomenal rise in the millennial population as the potential consumer base of the sector. Harboring an incessant love for luxury cars they look for rewarding deals. But the industry was highly fragmented given to the presence of a handful of large players who catered very less to this emerging consumer base which adversely impacted the growth of the space and highly dented the faith of the consumers in the sector.
Understanding the consumer’s requirement Luxury Ride came up with cost-effective servicing with the assurance of original spare parts being used to instill trust amongst the potential customer with the backup of the 150-parameter check. With time we added modification services, insurance, and roadside assistance to ensure we became an end-to-end solution for our customers. At each outlet, keeping the younger consumer in mind, we maintain a relaxed ambiance. In addition to these, Luxury Ride provides a 15-day money-back guarantee, premium financing options, best Insurance deals, and a buyback guarantee to ensure a hassle-free experience for its customers.
How is the response so far to your services?
Sumit Garg: We at Luxury Ride aim at creating a customer experience with the help of our quality product sales and services. The customers buying from our outlet have immensely praised our assured buyback services. Along with this the cars sold by us complies with the LR certified parameters and also offer a 1-year extended warranty to add value to the customers.
Focusing on 360 consumer life cycle, Luxury Ride provides 3 years basic service package on retailed cars which has been appreciated by the customers. Moreover, we continually strive to organize the pre-owned luxury car market by raising our service standards which help in gaining and retaining customer loyalty.
How Luxury Ride is leveraging technology to enhance the customer experience?
Sumit Garg: Luxury Ride provides an end-to-end technology-driven ecosystem for buying, selling, and maintaining Luxury Cars. Our business is based on the omnichannel model to ensure presence and serviceability across connected online and offline channels.
This enables the customers to get a mixed experience of seamless virtual tours for exploration of options to scan through the wide range of products and models available along with the provision to physically visit the showroom to get the feel and examine the car before the purchase.
What are the new trends in the luxury car sector?
Sumit Garg: Over the years there has been a paradigm shift in consumer behavior. The desire to always own the latest car with upgraded technology has substantially shortened the ownership period. There is a general trend to replace the cars every 4 years which previously was 6-8 years.
Also, the consumers today are highly aware of the depreciation rate of the new car where its value drops by 30% in the first year of the purchase itself. For them, a pre-owned car is a better and more lucrative bargain.
This is driving the demand for pre-owned luxury cars that fulfill the desire for advanced technology vehicles with unbeatable performance and comfort that to at the price of an economical new car.
The pandemic has further given the desired impetus to the industry as it gave rise to the need for personal mobility. But given the financial stability due to the uncertain times, people preferred going for pre-owned cars given to the surging prices of new cars to comply with BS-VI norms along with the long waiting period due to semiconductor shortage.
What are you planning next for Luxury Ride?
Sumit Garg: Currently, with 7 outlets in the country, we at Luxury Ride strive to increase our penetration deeper into the market and make our presence PAN India. We have plans to come up with 50 new showrooms in the next 4-5 years and during this expansion, we also want to focus on diversification of our business. We want to establish Luxury Ride as the leader with 360-degree solutions in the pre-owned car industry.
Tell us about the expansion of this business idea in the industry of pre-owned cars? How many outlets are there for Luxury Ride and what is your aim?
Sumit Garg: Recently the automobile sector has been extremely volatile which has rendered just the right mix for growth of the pre-owned car market. Given the increase in disposable income, the sector is leveraging a wide gamut of an audience beyond the ambit of just ultra-high net individuals. The millennial population is emerging as the potential consumer base for the sector who have a high affinity to own a luxury car.
This emerging consumer base exercises great wisdom when it comes to fulfilling their extravagant desire to maintain their financial stability. For them, a pre-owned luxury car emerges as the most viable option suiting their requirements.
The pandemic further gave the desired impetus to the industry as the need for personal mobility increased given the disruption in public transportation and the necessity to exercise social distancing norms. Even with the recommencement of public transport, there was incessant fear amongst the public regarding hygiene. Hence, the pre-owned luxury car market offering more affordable options with uncompromising performance and advanced features were preferred more rather than the new economical car at almost the same price range.
Challenges and impact on the business during the COVID and has that affected your sales? Also, what about post covid, has the situation changed in the sense of an increase or decrease in demand?
Sumit Garg: Just like any other industry even the pre-owned car industry experienced a hit due to the pandemic. Even we faced ups and downs during the period but soon we saw an increase in sales in the post-pandemic era give to the rising faith in customers with the emergence of more organized players in the segment during the COVID period.
What about the Tier 2 and tier 3 market, is the demand increasing or decreasing for Luxury Cars or Pre- Owned Luxury Cars specifically?
Sumit Garg: Since the beginning, metro cities have been the hub clocking large transactions of selling and purchasing of pre-owned luxury cars. Over the years, the stance stays strong with the maximum purchases materializing in the metro cities. But with the coming of the pandemic, there was a unanimous demand for high-end brands with unmatched performance and services that too within a limited budget in the tier 2 cities as well like Jaipur, Chandigarh, and Dehradun to name a few.
Any plans that you would like to mention or any tips before buying a pre-owned luxury car?
Sumit Garg: We are intensively working on the forthcoming activities. The team is involved in formalizing new plans to be rolled out shortly and announcements will be made closer to the launch of the event.
As I said earlier, we want to penetrate deeper into the market where Luxury Ride establishes its name as synonymous with end-to-end products and services in the pre-owned car segment.
A small token of advice for all the aspiring buyers to thoroughly study the car history before making a purchase. Make sure to revalidate the crucial information like mileage numbers and important documents. Look at the number of distances traveled to get a clear picture of the actual worth of the car. make sure to take a test drive, it gives an insight into the feel of the car. It helps the customers understand various factors such as the height of the seat, steering feel, and wheel adjustment.