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Market for pre-owned foreign luxury cars growing in India

IANS | New Delhi |

The demand for fancy foreign luxury cars is witnessing a steep rise, with buyers, including from faraway northeast, picking up Lamborghinis, Maseratis and Range Rovers that cost up to Rs.1.5 crore apiece- but all pre-owned, a polite term for second-hand.

Big Boy Toyz, based in Gurugram, Haryana, is one firm that specialises in selling pre-owned foreign luxury cars in India.

It is perhaps the only one of its kind in the country that panders to the Indian buyers' whim of owning a branded luxury car, but who are unable to cough up the price of a new one.

Jatin Ahuja, Founder and Managing Director of Big Boy Toyz, or BBT as it is often called, hit upon the idea of selling pre-owned foreign brands in 2009, when he found that Indians preferred exchanging their used foreign car for a new one.

He started off initially in 2007 as Magus Cars Ltd, which would import new cars. But Ahuja found that most buyers wanted to exchange their used cars for new ones, which led to a range of used cars in his possession and he ended up with losses.

This led to the launch of Big Boy Toyz-and the focus on pre-owned exotic cars.

Ahuja, who focuses on pre-owned cars that cost between Rs.50 lakh and Rs.1.5 crore and manages to sell at least one car a day, owns a showroom in Gurugram and a car studio in Sultanpur, New Delhi.

"I would like to focus more on cars in the bracket of Rs.50 lakh to Rs.1.5 crore rather than the Rs.1.5 crore to Rs.3 crore segment (the super-luxury segment). The volume of business in the first bracket is more than that in the Rs.1.5 crore-plus segment," Ahuja told IANS in an interaction in his Gurugram showroom.

"I would like to do at least 75 per cent of my business in the Rs.50 lakh to Rs.1.5 crore segment," he added.

Big Boy Toyz gets orders for its exotic cars through its online portal, . Ahuja says 30 per cent of his business-of buying and selling second-hand exotic cars-comes from Haryana, and the rest from across the country.

The company has a collection of 120 cars in both the showrooms — ranging from BMWs, Mercedes, Porsches, to Land Rovers.

His company has already carved a niche for itself, and Bollywood stars are among his clientele.

The company aims for a sales target of Rs.1,000 crore by 2020. "At the rate at which our business is growing, I find the target of Rs.1,000 crore by 2020 absolutely achievable," said Ahuja.

The company plans to open showrooms in other cities like Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad, with demand pouring in from such cities, said Ahuja.

In 2016, Big Boy Toyz recorded an annual growth of 40 per cent with a turnover of Rs.195 crore, and aims to achieve a turnover of Rs.250-260 crore this fiscal year, he said.

Every pre-owned car goes through 151 check points and parameters- like age of the car, kilometres done, demand for the car and its supply, maintenance-before BBT buys them.

The demonetisation move hit sales a bit, but things have since stabilised, says Ahuja.

"The November and December sales were a bit unstable due to demonetisation, but it picked up from January onwards," he said, adding that it was due to the well-heeled clientele that he caters to.

Ahuja feels that the Indian automotive industry has evolved a lot over the past decade and has huge scope.

"The design of Indian cars is much better, but there is still room for improvement in terms of reliability," he said, adding that through Big Boy Toyz he is attempting to change the negative perception among Indians of buying pre-owned cars.