Riding on the change that e-commerce is bringing to the auto sector, Ola, homegrown ride hailing service is venturing into automotive e-commerce. Ola announced its automobile marketplace Ola Cars on October 7. In a statement, the company said that Ola Cars will offer purchase, finance, insurance, registration and maintenance for the vehicles sold on the platform. The platform will also provide vehicle service and diagnostics along with accessories. Platform users will be able to sell their used cars as well.
According to the company, the platform will begin with pre-owned (old) cars and slowly include new vehicles from Ola Electric and other manufacturers as well. The company aims to make it “a one-stop-shop for customers looking at hassle-free buying, selling and managing their cars.”
The platform will start its operations from 30 cities in the beginning and plans to scale up to 100 cities by the next year, said the vehicle-for-hire company.
The platform’s website is already functional and offers to choose from six cities — Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi NCR, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Pune. The product page of the various listed cars, which appear to be studio-photographed by Ola, also includes the detailed inspection report and lists issues with the vehicle.
The announcement comes when there are wide anticipations that e-commerce can boost auto-sector growth in India. There are also discussions about if e-commerce taking over the vehicle buy-sell process will bring about a fundamental change in the way people shop for vehicles. While another already established auto e-commerce platform Droom is trying to lure its users by easy returns and asking them to forget about free test drives in its recent ad campaign, Ola Cars brand new website is not shying away from displaying its ‘free test drive’ button upfront.
On its website, the platform claims to offer doorstep test-drive, 266-point inspection and fixed-price insurance. To users who are looking to sell their cars, the platform promises “best-in-car valuation” and “open book paperwork.” Car owners can submit their cars’ details and the platform the website assures them to get in touch soon.
With the announcement of the new platform, Ola has named Arun Sirdeshmukh as Ola Cars’ Chief Executive Officer. Sirdeshmukh has previously worked with Amazon where he headed Amazon Fashion and Reliance Trends where he worked as CEO and Director.
Recently, Ola Cabs’ sister company Ola Electric launched its electric two-wheelers and used the ride-sharing app to bring customers for its pre-booking, leading to a hyped first day of sale when the company claimed to sell four scooters per second in 24 hours.