SouCheNow.com, based in Beijing and under the brand name JiPin Auto, is a next-generation Internet portal that empowers consumers and dealers to efficiently and transparently trade used cars in China through its proprietary Web and mobile applications.
The used-car market in China saw 5 million vehicles traded in 2012, and according to the Chinese Automobile Dealers Association, this number is expected to reach 20 million annually by 2017.
"Both consumers and dealers in China have been frustrated by their inability to efficiently buy or sell a used car, with any degree of confidence that the transaction will be economically sound," said Yahui "Mike" Liu, president & CEO of SouCheNow.com. "Customers who are unable to transact within their personal network have been forced to deal with an informal network of largely unregulated agents."
The SouCheNow.com product lineup includes:
- Website: search, interactive live chat and product specialists, used car valuations and listings, dealer listings, transaction capabilities, banner advertising
- Mobile apps (consumer and dealer): all of the above plus live auction and bidding, and a feature to match buyers and sellers. The mobile appraisal app is currently used by more than 200 car dealers and allows for online bidding through the SouCheNow.com portal
- Call centre: to assist and close transactions, technical assistance, product specialists
SouCheNow.com is a private company and majority-owned by Canadian investors. Commitments have been received from Peter Gilgan, founder & CEO of Mattamy Homes, Canada's largest new home builder, and the original founders including the Budd Group, a Greater Toronto Area based auto dealership. The financing is expected to close in September 2013.
Gilgan commented: "I have had a long interest in the automobile industry and am very pleased to have an opportunity to invest in such an exciting country as China with the Budd Group of Oakville as partners." Gilgan is also on the Board of Directors of SouCheNow.com.
"With our Chinese partners we have positioned ourselves to provide the preeminent electronic platform for transactions in the rapidly expanding used-car market in China," Liu said. "SouCheNow.com is so different from similar solutions - think of it as an integration of Autotrader, eBay, and Black Book. It's all-in-one and made for China."