Used Hyundai Santros and Honda Citys, from the B- and C-segments respectively, are currently the best-selling models from Mahindra FirstChoice Wheels (MFCW) outlets. These Mahindra outlets offer used cars from various brands, so you can expect to see a Tata Nano sitting alongside an Audi A4 in a First Choice outlet.
Prices range from Rs 1-3 lakh for a used petrol Santro (2001-10 model) while the second-generation petrol City (loosely known as the ‘Dolphin’ 2004-05 model in the used car trade) can be yours for Rs 3.5-4.5 lakh. The C-class Mercedes 2002-03 petrol and diesel models can be bought for as little as Rs 6.5 to Rs 7 lakh. However, luxury cars constitute only 3 percent of total sales.
Interestingly, just like in the new car market, Mahindra FirstChoice has witnessed a shift in customer demand from petrol to diesel cars over the last 6 to 8 months.
“Availability of diesel cars is very low as we are unable to source good cars due to the sudden shift in customer preferences. Those who possess diesel cars are not keen to part with them. New diesel technologies will take about three years to come into the market and that is when more diesel cars will be available at our outlets,” says Sharad Agarwal, National Head-Franchisee Operations.
About 60 percent of the cars sold at the outlets range from 3 to 5 years in age with 20 percent in the 0 to 3 year age bracket, with the balance in the 5-plus year category out of the 25 to 30 cars on display at each outlet.
Used cars are sourced through new car dealers, online networks, through leasing and corporate tie-ups and walk-in exchange of cars. FirstChoice offers 95 percent financing facility to customers through its in-house finance arm Mahindra Finance, and partnerships with financial institutions.
FirstChoice expects to sell 30,000 cars in FY’12 through 150 outlets primarily in tier I and II towns, with a sales target of one-million cars and 300 outlets by 2014.