SoftBank Corp. and Singapore’s Carro Team Up to Digitally Transform Japan’s Used Car Market

SoftBank Corp. and Singapore’s Carro Team Up to Digitally Transform Japan’s Used Car Market

Around the world, the automotive industry and its customers are grappling with a number of challenges, such as a supply chain squeeze and high prices. Japan’s automotive market is no exception. In recent years, the country has seen lower vehicle production levels and soaring prices due to a shortage of semiconductors for vehicles. Furthermore, the demand for used cars has risen since they can be delivered relatively faster. Changing customer habits have also led to a greater appetite for car subscription services that are more convenient than existing ones.

Due to the use of opaque vehicle quality evaluation criteria when predicting the future values of used cars and a reliance on personal judgements, the used car market in Japan has also seen high barriers to entry and limited choice for customers.

Seeing an opportunity to solve these issues facing Japan’s used car market, SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434) and Carro, the Singapore-based online car retailer, established CARRO JAPAN, a joint venture that provides a used car subscription (car leasing) service marketplace.

Partnering with an online car retailer leader in Southeast Asia

Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Singapore, Carro is one of Southeast Asia’s leading online car retailers. With a presence in five countries in the Asia Pacific region, Carro is transforming how people buy and sell cars through its proprietary pricing algorithms and AI-enabled capabilities. Backed by investors that include SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Carro is a rapidly expanding unicorn company.

Providing used car subscription services at affordable prices

So how is CARRO JAPAN, the new joint venture between SoftBank and Carro, working to address the challenges facing Japan’s used car market? On September 20, 2022, it launched a used car subscription service marketplace for enterprise customers. The marketplace utilizes Carro’s proprietary AI technology to predict the residual value of used cars to make highly accurate, data-based predictions for the future values of used cars.

Furthermore, the online platform connects participating car leasing companies with customers who want to use cars at affordable prices by using a subscription model. Carro’s AI technology calculates affordable prices for used cars, and participating car leasing companies receive support from CARRO JAPAN to provide high-quality and affordable used car subscription services that match customer needs. Various ancillary services, such as smartphone-based solutions to support the management of company cars, as well as payment consolidation, are also in the works.

SoftBank’s business know-how and knowledge of the Japan market is also expected to help fuel CARRO JAPAN’s growth.

Driving to further expansion

Guided by its vision to “build a platform where anyone can use cars at affordable prices,” CARRO JAPAN is looking to expand its business in Japan, and beyond. In the future, the joint venture plans to launch services for individual consumers and collaborate with SoftBank Corp. group company Yahoo Japan Corporation, which operates Japan’s leading automotive information portal, carview!

In addition to studying the use of AI-based vehicle image analysis, CARRO JAPAN will also consider expanding its marketplace to other markets in East Asia.

For more information, see SoftBank and Carro’s joint press release.

(Posted on September 22, 2022)
by SoftBank News Editors