Purchasing a car — an exotic one, especially — can be a daunting experience. CarTimes is here to transform the buying process into a friendlier one
CarTimes Group, one of the largest automobile companies in Singapore, established an arm dedicated solely to retailing exotic cars and supercars in August. The award-winning company already offers a comprehensive suite of services, including retail services, rentals, financing, insurance and servicing.
Eddie Loo, the founder and managing director of CarTimes Group, says the idea of having an arm that deals exclusively in exotic cars did not come by accident. “There was an increasing demand for this segment, which we initially didn’t have. But I’ve received a few enquiries from my friends, who are keen on buying supercars from time to time. So we thought it was a good idea to include this segment, which will offer more variety to our high-net-worth customers,” he explains.
CarTimes Exotic officially launches in September and will involve two other partners, whom Loo declined to name. As a testament to its increasing popularity, CarTimes Exotic has already received more than double of its usual enquiries during its soft launch in August. To date, they have transacted more than six units of supercars. Among them are Ferraris, a Bentley and a Maserati.
Tapping into a new segment
On adding CarTimes Exotic, Loo says the group is trying to increase its reach to a target segment that it has not tapped before. “For the longest time, we built our business on what we are good at, servicing the mass market. A lot of things that are a part of our business today also make much more economic sense for our customers,” adds Loo.
“That said, the mass market and this premium category don’t share a lot of resources in terms of the services that we are offering, in that Ferraris are not a ‘must have’, they’re more like ‘good to have’ cars. But we will not write off any options we want to explore.”
CarTimes Group’s founder and managing director Eddie Loo at the CarTimes Exotic showroom
A personalised car buying experience
As CarTimes Group is known for its well-rounded ancillary services for its current customers, Loo hopes to offer the same experience to its high-net-worth buyers. “We have a private lounge and an exclusive showroom for our high-net-worth customers, and car viewings are by appointment only,” Loo adds. “It’s us offering an exclusive and niche experience for our customers.”
While the team is mainly focused on retailing new exotic cars, they are not ruling out the possibility of helping their customers find second-hand exotic vehicles. “If our customers require it, we’ll definitely be able to help them solve it. We know many direct owners who may want to sell their cars, so you never know,” says Loo.
“In those instances, we provide the contacts, and we will be able to help them with the buying and selling process. The process can get tricky sometimes, with the loans, workshop services, inspections.”
“It’s all about building a network, an ecosystem. Having a good network is power. We want to know more people, learn more about them, as opposed to just selling cars to them,” he continues.
All about providing a warm, approachable and dedicated service
With the introduction of its exotic arm, Loo recognises that the group has to stand out from the existing players in the exotic market. “We have to differentiate ourselves in the same way that we’ve managed to differentiate ourselves in the very competitive mass market,” Loo says.
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For one, Loo prides his team on offering a tailored, personalised experience through one-to-one appointments. “For instance, if you’re considering two cars and want to compare their merits, we will take both of them out for you to have a closer look during your appointment,” he explains.
The team is also known for its approachable and warm service, and they welcome all enquiries to view their supercars. “You don’t have to be considered a high-net-worth individual to be our client. Customers can call us anytime to book an appointment just to view any car they like,” Loo adds.
“Plus, we can always explore other options within the group. After all, our bread and butter are from the sale of cars such as Honda, Toyota and Mercedes. So really, we welcome anyone interested to visit us anytime. We’d like to bring them around the showroom, show them the cars that have caught their eye … There are no obligations. These cars are meant to be sold after all.”
Exotic Showroom is located at 63 Ubi Crescent, Singapore 408599. Visit www.cartimes.com.sg or call 8838 5111 for an appointment
All photos: Albert Chua/The Edge Singapore