Q: What led Grupo Gocar to explore the used car market?
A: We see used vehicles as a complimentary option to new car sales. I have worked as a distributor for 22 years and used cars have been important since the beginning of my business. We are focusing on online sales because it gives us opportunity areas to grow and also allows us to sell more cars in better condition. For this, you need a quality car inventory and knowledge of digital marketing. Financing for used cars is getting easier. Certifications and warranty extensions are more reliable and expected by customers, so income from used cars can be even bigger than that of new vehicles.
Q: What factors are boosting the used car market in Mexico?
A: There are several reasons to explain why the used car market is becoming more important in Mexico. In the last few years, the Mexican car market has been maturing and consumer behavior is becoming similar to the European and American markets. A great achievement was the federal government’s decision to close the market for so-called “chocolate” cars, as used units coming from the US are known. This action provided OEMs, car dealers and used vehicle distributors with certainty and generated momentum for the professional used car business both at the brand and dealer level. Today, the internet has underpinned the fast development of the used car market, providing the business with transparency, agility and reliability.
Q: Which used model is the favorite of the Mexican market?
A: Depending on the area in which used vehicles are being sold, we see different vehicle preferences. In Mexico City’s Santa Fe and San Angel neighborhoods, the cars sold are luxurious and more expensive. Within the State of Mexico, we see distinct buyer profiles varying from expensive to low-value cars.
Q: How have digital solutions boosted your sales and recognition in the market?
A: We launched our Business Digital Center in November 2016 and online sales represented 5 percent of new and used cars. This is excellent because we are just beginning. Our goal is to increase used vehicle sales to 25 percent of our total sales by the end of 2017. All our numbers indicate that this is achievable, partly thanks to our online sales representatives offering personalized attention. Hiring a team of salespeople working homogenous schedules at the same location increases internal performance and customer experience during purchases through our Business Digital Center (BDC). We also have a web page called Seminuevos Gocar that lists the group’s inventory.
Grupo Gocar also works with CarPlanet and the practices of both have helped us improve Grupo Gocar’s internet performance, applying best practices across platforms and strengthening both. CarPlanet holds inventories from many car dealerships as well as private users. Gocar only manages its dealerships’ inventory, so customers using CarPlanet have many more options compared to Gocar’s smaller but higher quality stock. We use Google AdWords for search engine optimization and we have a live chat on our web page that connects customers with a specialist salesperson, who offers personalized advice. In the live chat, they can close a sale and sign the contract. All these practices keep us at the forefront of online vehicle sales.
Q: What are Grupo Gocar’s growth expectations for 2017?
A: Results have been positive and our goal is to maintain high customer satisfaction across all the activities we do, and to focus on greater digital sales numbers. On the CarPlanet website, we are now also offering used motorbikes, which is a huge market. We are still unfamiliar with it but we can handle this segment on CarPlanet. Regarding Grupo Gocar’s future projects, we are opening a new Renault store in the south of Mexico City and our goal is to double the sales of used cars. New car sales are more frequent than used cars, so we negotiated an alliance with Bancomer to increase sales through car loans from 30 percent of our total used sales to 60 percent, which is our objective.