AKD taking advantage of boom in used car market

Yang Yang
Company embraces change at its Jiading center as it eyes a growing market for used cars as both buyer and seller of brands that include established names and new-energy vehicles.
Yang Yang
AKD taking advantage of boom in used car market
Li Pin

The 2024 AKD World Luxury Car Show was held on May 27 at the AKD Center in the North Hongqiao Business District.

AKD, a leading used-car company, is embracing transformation of the industry by scaling production and digitalized management.

An important link in the automobile industry chain, the trade in used cars is becoming standardized and professional.

At AKD’s center in Jiading’s North Hongqiao Business District, the thousands of cars on show include Porsche, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Audi, Land-Rover, Toyota, and new-energy vehicle brands such as Tesla, NIO and Li Auto.

“Live-streaming is a good way to sell cars. AKD Shanghai runs about 130 live-streaming sales events monthly,” said Zhu Xia, head of the Shanghai center. “And it performs well. About 30 percent of our total sales are now achieved through live-streaming events.”

Digitalized management is also being applied at AKD and covers the entire lifecycle of auto consumption.

Each automobile at the center has a condition report. Through scanning a QR code, customers are able to learn a vehicle’s maintenance, insurance and renewal records.

An online platform has been set up to synchronize online and offline car information and offer recommendations.

“Digitalized management offers clear information and promotes standardized development,” said Zhu. “Hopefully, used-car trading on our platform in the future will be as convenient as buying a cellphone on an e-commerce platform.”

Zhu added: “We have totally abandoned the traditional rental service mode, neither are we an agency. We have established our own brand, exhibition halls, and brick and mortar stores, to offer a high-end second-hand car shopping experience.”

AKD is also organizing a 500-strong pre-sales and after-sales team. Some will be responsible for car renewal, which requires 360 testing, certification and renewal steps. Each used car, over a period of seven days and assisted by 10 senior technicians, will have its appearance, inner decoration and functions restored before being ready for sale.

“We’ve been carrying out a buy-it-now service for more than 10 years,” Zhu said. “We offer customers a good price after thoroughly judging a car’s condition, its mileage and the market.

“When purchasing a used car, we assure the sellers that we won’t have a gross profit margin higher than 5 percent. If we do, then 50 percent of the additional part will be returned to the seller.”

Car registration can be accomplished on the same day at AKD and the whole process might be completed as fast as within 30 minutes.

Used car trading is set to play a bigger role as the nation’s car market continues to expand. In 2023, the accumulated transaction volume of used cars in China was 18.4133 million, up 14.88 percent year on year. Its accumulated transaction amount reached 1.179 trillion yuan (US$162 billion).

AKD has served over 300,000 customers nationwide. About 20,000 cars are transacted at AKD every year with transaction value exceeding 10 billion yuan. Currently, AKD is present in Shenzhen and Chengdu as well and will soon open in Tianjin.

Special Reports