Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mahindra First Choice To Aim 300 Franchise Outlets By 2012

Mahindra First Choice Wheels first SuperStore was inaugurated at Kochi Called Focuz Car Mart it is spread across an area of 5,000 sq. ft. with parking space of 13,000 sq. ft., and is located near Edapally Junction. It was inaugurated by Shubhabrata Saha, CEO, Mahindra First Choice Wheels Limited and Mr. Tony Raphel, Director and CEO, Focuz Car Mart.

“Encouraged by the overwhelming response to the SuperStore in Thiruvananthapuram – our first in Kerala – setting up the next in Kochi was a natural progression. Focuz Car Mart’s expertise and local know-how of the region, coupled with our value proposition of trust, transparency and wide choice will ensure that Mahindra FirstChoice is well poised to tap the vast potential of the pre-owned car market in Kerala. Our winning customer proposition coupled with an aggressive national expansion plan will help us reach our sales target of one lakh cars by 2015,” said Mr. Shubhabrata Saha, CEO, Mahindra First Choice Wheels Limited. He added, “In value terms, the company had revenues of Rs. 220 crore last fiscal and aims a turnover of Rs 400 crore.” The size of pre-owned car market in India is estimated at 1.7 million annually, he said, adding that the company would also increase its service centres in line with the proposed new sales outlets.

“We are delighted to extend our relationship with Mahindra, which is one of India’s most respected auto brands. Kochi presents large potential as a pre-owned car market and Mahindra First Choice will certainly go a long way in catering to this demand. The SuperStore will display several brands of pre-owned cars and function as a one-stop shop for all those wishing to either buy or sell a car. Customers can thus, avail of an array of services under one roof. These include purchase and sale of pre-owned cars, car finance and insurance, fitment of car accessories and assistance with paperwork and documentation,” said Mr. Tony Raphel, Director and CEO, Focuz Car Mart.

Mahindra FirstChoice is the country’s preferred pre-owned car mart and is India’s only organized multi-brand player, with 114 outlets in 74 towns across India. The company plans to expand this number to 300 outlets in the next three years. This implies that customers will soon be able to choose from a range of certified pre-owned cars throughout India, including the metros and tier-2 towns and cities. Tremendous attention to detail is required to ensure that each pre-owned car meets a high level of quality. Before purchasing the car, a trained engineer thoroughly inspects the vehicle and also sees to it that all papers are in order. After purchase, every car is refurbished and undergoes an extensive 118 point quality check by a trained engineer, as part of the company’s robust certification process.

Mahindra First Choice also has retail finance relationships with major banks and NBFCs in the country. As an industry first, Mahindra First Choice has recently partnered with Syndicate Bank to offer consumers finance rates comparable to those for new cars. In order to facilitate business growth, existing and potential franchisees will also be able to avail of inventory funding options from Syndicate Bank and IDBI Bank.

Mahindra First Choice, an arm of Mahindra and Mahindra Group (M&M) which sells second hand car, had recently said it would set up sales and service outlets in rural areas across the country to sell one lakh vehicles by 2015. This year, it expects the sales volume from its multi-brand pre-owned car company - Mahindra First Choice Wheels (MFCW) to go up to 18,000 units from 10,255 last year. MFCW operates a country-wide network, spanning 114 centres, including 6 company-owned outlets, in the superstore and smaller formats. MFCW aims to leverage its brand power in the franchising mode of business and make it more organised by professional management. ET has reported that MFCW derives 15 per cent of its sales from the 'D' or luxury car (Rs. 5.5 to Rs. 6 lakh) segment, with the B and C categories (Rs. 3.5 lakh or so) contributing around 30 per cent of the sales volume.

"In 2008-09 we sold 10,255 vehicles. This year we have aimed to sell around 18,000 vehicles. We want to take it up to one lakh cars by 2015," M&M President (After-market, HR and Corporate Services) Rajeev Dubey told reporters recently. He said 20 per cent of their business come from the "C" segment in Tier-II and III cities, while 80 per cent of the revenues come from metros and state capitals. The company aims to tap rural market through its expansion plans. For this, it would double its franchise outlets by March 2011, he added. The company has 114 outlets in the country. By March 2011 it would have 230 outlets and take it to over 300 outlets by March 2012, Dubey said.

Read more: Mahindra First Choice Wheels inaugurates its first SuperStore in Kochi - WheelsUnplugged Automobile Industry News
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