Originally published at: https://www.pakwheels.com/blog/in-conversation-with-ghulam-hussain-agha-head-suzuki-used-cars/
Question: Tell us about the Suzuki Pakistan’s new initiative used car portal, and what was the idea behind its launch?
Answer: Pak Suzuki Marketing has been generating customer feedback in Certified Used car Gala events which is one window platform for customers to select the certified used cars from a wide variety. Of course; these mega-events are planned quarterly in large cities Karachi; Lahore, Islamabad, and Multan.
However; since Pak Suzuki has used car operations at dealerships nationwide in other 2nd tier towns like Rahim Yar Khan, Hyderabad, Mansehra, Faisalabad, Gujranwala & Peshawar to name a few; therefore we needed a new ‘one window platform’ to provide opportunity to customers from these towns to establish a nationwide coverage; so what better platform than partnering with the No.1 automobile website in Pakistan; PakWheels.com
Question: What is Suzuki certified cars certification? And how do u evaluate the cars?
Answer: Basically, evaluation of a car is done at dealerships by the trained team of Used car Manager and Evaluator.
Evaluation is the most important stage in buying and/or Exchange process. It is said that deal is done at the time of evaluation.
It is not an easy job and involves three important elements; Technical Evaluation (via Inspection Checklist); Right Pricing and of course closing the deal by negotiating with the customer.
In used car evaluation process; Pak Suzuki Motors facilitates dealers by providing them Inspection checklist and Recommended Price Grid which clearly suggests recommended minimum refurbishment expense (model-wise) and average buying & selling prices of used cars(subject to market trend and actual condition of the car.)
Once the used car is bought by Pak Suzuki dealer and is refurbished; it is presented to Pak Suzuki Motors Certification Engineer who has the authority of acceptance of used car as a certified used car or not; based on Pak Suzuki Certification standards.
Certification Engineer has to ensure used car conforms to acceptable certification standards as then Pak Suzuki has to give used car warranty of up to 1 year.
Question: How do Suzuki certified cars are different from other vehicles? Does certification increase their resale value?
Ans. As our entire success is tied to customer trust and confidence in certified used cars; based on customer insight; we feel following factors have contributed Suzuki Used Cars preference over used cars in market and better resale value;
- Category A: Up to 6 months / driven up to 7,500 km's. (for models 3 to 5 years old)
- Category B: Up to 1 year / driven up to 15,000 km's. (for models up to 2 years old)
Manufacturer Warranty: Pak Suzuki Motors extends Used car Warranty:
Transparency: All Certified Used cars have to be displayed with Price (which is slightly negotiable), Model, Registration Year and Mileage driven
Authorized Pak Suzuki Dealerships: All these used cars are bought by financially stable, market reputable authorized Pak-Suzuki dealers which are either from exchange customers or just buy.
- These authorized dealerships are in compliance to Pak Suzuki 3S (Sales, Service and Spare parts)
- Corporate standards and all our selling new cars average 100 units + per month.
- Rest assured; Pak Suzuki Company is monitoring these dealerships used cars performance.
- Certification and Warranty:
All certified used cars are evaluated by dealership trained personnel and then checked by Pak Suzuki engineers who give warranty after certification.
Question: Right now, you have 130 evaluation points around the country for the used cars verification are you planning to expand these evaluation points?
Ans: 130 evaluation point checklist covers all systems in an automobile and a lot of deliberations have been conducted in designing the checklist so that certified used cars are in roadworthy condition; thus we think the checklist is technically sound.
Question: Tell us about the experience and feedback of Pak Suzuki used car portal’s users?
Ans: We launched ‘Suzuki Certified used cars (Exclusive) portal’ where only Pak Suzuki Authorized dealerships used cars (certified used cars/model up to 5 years old) as well as used cars (model 2007 to 2011); exchanged / bought at our authorized dealerships are offered for sale on Pakistan’s largest automobile website PakWheels.com
Besides; customers can also exchange used cars against new cars and also get used cars financed through exclusive Suzuki used cars portal.
For customer feedback; at the moment since launch from July 1, 2017, till August end; 121 used cars are sold through web portal. Further; several cases are in process in terms of customer-dealership negotiations.
Pak Suzuki Marketing believes that only Pak Suzuki authorized quality used cars are displayed for sale as we do not want to be just a clutter in the market available used cars with no certification and warranty.
Read More: PakWheels.com and Pak-Suzuki launch online Suzuki Certified Used car Buying/Exchange portal
Question: As a head of the Suzuki Used cars / Suzuki Finance & Insurance what exactly are your plans and vision for the growth of Suzuki used cars’ web portal?
Ans.: Alhum du lillah; since we started up the used car and exchange operations in 2011; gradually Pak Suzuki Marketing has been able to establish Certified used car brand and Exchange- trade-in program through gaining customer trust and confidence which is No.1 success factor to me.
It’s not been an easy ride as our New car authorized dealerships all these years have been convinced and guided to invest in used cars and sell new cars through the exchange program.
It’s easy to assess the results of a huge number of certified used car sales in events.( In last Gala held on August 6, 2017 at Expo Center Karachi; out of 145 certified used cars; 127 cars were sold on spot in one day); but the main challenge is not numbers but to sustain the customers' trust and confidence in Suzuki certified used cars.
Our used car department’ vision is synchronized with our Company’ vision to maintain the No.1 Automobile position in new local assembled and imported Suzuki vehicles as well as certified Used cars.
Question: Every year Pak Suzuki organizes a show of used cars in Lahore, tell us about the event and the response by the public?
Ans: Since April 2012; 18 Used car gala events have registered huge success in Karachi with over 100 units sold in 7 events respectively; particularly due to the fact that Karachi customers befit the ideal used car customer profile; an educated (working) middle-class family.
However; Lahore customer’s profile mainly comprises of small to medium businesses and feature comparatively less percentage of working class then Karachi as most of the banks, MNCs, companies are situated in Karachi.
This customer profile aspect is useful in our Pre-event publicity campaign.
The response has been gradually spiraling up as more and more people are understanding the benefits of having a reliable certified used car compared to a market used car with no warranty.
In 2016; two events in Lahore city; 60+units were sold in respective events which is very encouraging. Still exchange and certified used awareness in Punjab as a whole is a challenge which we are up to. Augmented by the organized infrastructure of roads, motorways suggest high transportation demand.
Question: Are you planning to move your annual show of used cars to other major cities other than Lahore?
Ans. We already are holding two events in a year in Islamabad and Multan as well.
Our nation-wide dealerships also hold one to two used car gala events at their dealerships every 6 months.
Question: Why a customer should buy a used car from your used car portal instead of purchasing it from the market?
Ans. As explained hitherto that Pak-Suzuki’s Trust and confidence of reliable; affordable; quality certified used car coupled with PakWheels.com’ credibility; is right choice for the used car customer.
Question: Keeping in view the expanding market of the used cars in Pakistan do you have any plans to expand Suzuki certification to other brand cars as well?
Ans: Not at the moment; however in future we might bring in market reputable used car dealerships into Suzuki certified used cars certification fold only. Of course; feasibility study will be a prerequisite.
Question: Do you have any plan in future to sell the used Suzuki certified cars on installment with the collaboration of different banks?
Ans: Several banks are financing local used cars as well. We are on the verge of launching Certified Used Cars financing with our business partners Bank AlFalah, which will register our Certified used car prices and the bank's’ appraisal value for the convenience of customers.
Question: Pakwheels.com being the partner with Suzuki used car portal, tell us about how Pakwheels has improved the sales of the used cars online by helping your authorized dealerships?
Ans: Results are very encouraging; however we have high expectations from PakWheels.com to promote this Exclusive Suzuki Used Cars Portal through different promotion strategies.
However; everything is based around Customer follow-up. Our company and dealerships’ Used car team's primary job is not to miss any query or leads from any customer.
Question: How is your experience of working as a partner with PakWheels.com?
Ans. As it’s been 2 months; it's too early to evaluate the performance of this partnership. However, as I mentioned earlier that Pak Suzuki is constantly looking for innovations to provide different avenues to customers on the web portal. We have high expectations from PakWheels.com to support us.
Question: By starting an online portal for used cars Suzuki has shown that it understands the online trend, technology innovations do you think the companies who are not adapting to the new digital trends will ultimately lose the space and customers in the local market?
Ans. It goes without saying that the trend of digital marketing is gradually increasing in our country as well. Not only high involvement products like automobiles; consumer electronics but also apparels; shoes; etc. are making their way.
Rather; it is the website of any professional organization that represents the service facet of the company; so companies investing in digital platforms, website, Facebook, other digital portals; have much to gain.