(by Nikhil Pahwa & Vikas SN)
Mahindra First Choice Wheels, the used car sales service from the Mahindra group, sold over 55,000 cars through its online auctions platform eDiig in FY14, registering a 50% increase year on year. Till date, it claims to have sold more than 1.5 lakh vehicles through this platform.
The company attributes the increase in auction volumes during the fiscal FY14 to its used vehicle inspection service Autoinspekt. The service offers a third party vehicle evaluation report for financiers, dealers, corporates and consumers to determine the condition, quality and value of used vehicles.
Autoinspekt is currently available across 20 locations including popular cities like Bangalore, New Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad and smaller cities like Madurai, Trichur, Vijaywada and Pollachi among others. The service was officially launched by Mahindra First Choice Wheels earlier this month, although it has been around since October 2012.
Mahindra First Choice Wheels vice president (e-business), B Ganeshkumar mentions that Autoinspekt has resulted in an increase in the average number of bids per car and better conversion for vehicles put up on their auction platform. This also allows buyers to bid for cars in multiple locations, without the need for inspecting the vehicle themselves. He added that lenders have also started using Autoinspekt to assess vehicles while giving loans.
How Autoinspekt works is users can request for a physical evaluation of the car they intend to buy. Following this, a Autoinspekt representative will schedule a car inspection by contacting the seller and generate a report on the car’s condition and quality. When the report is complete, Autoinspekt alerts the user via email to view the report on their site. The company claims that the whole process is usually done in 24 hours.
The report will apparently provide an overall snapshot of the car along with a detailed condition on 53 parameters across 8 vehicle systems. This includes car body, electrical system, brakes, engine, fuel and ignition systems, steering & suspension system, air conditioner, accessories and tyre condition among others. These parameters are color-coded based on its health and provides an indication on whether it needs replacement immediately or over the next three months.
Besides this, the report will also provide pictures of the car along with an overall rating and a recommended market price, powered by the company’s used price guide IndianBlueBook.
The service is currently available through four different plans depending on the amount of car evaluation requests, starting with a basic plan priced at Rs 1,200 which offer a single report. This is followed by a Silver plan at Rs 25,000 per month (for 25 car evaluations), Gold plan at Rs 40,000 per month (for 50 car evaluations) and Platinum plan at Rs 60,000 per month (for 100 car evaluations).
Autoinspekt claims that several finance companies like TVS Credit Services Ltd, Tata Motors Finance, MAGMA Finance are already using this service for car evaluations.
Mahindra e2o Initiatives
Last March, Mahindra Reva had also launched two new mobile apps called – ‘The e2o connectivity app’ and ‘Life with e2o’ along with the launch of its next generation electric car Mahindra e2o. The e20 connectivity app allows users to remotely control various parts of their e2o car through their mobile phone while the Life With e2o app allows users to track their car trips via GPS and compare their car performance with the newly launched e2o across various parameters like fuel efficiency and total savings among others.
During the same time, the company also seems to have launched a video capturing app called Tripeye, which allows users to mount their phones on a phone holder and record their journey.
In April 2013, Mahindra had also partnered with Vodafone, following which the telco was providing machine-to-Machine (m2m) communication services to Mahindra e20.