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Myanmar's first auto auction helps polish used-car market

Auto News - Published on Fri, 17 May 2019

Image Source: Nikkei Asian Review
Nikkei reported that Myanmar's leading used car website has teamed with a Japanese trading company to hold the country's first auto auction featuring fully inspected vehicles. Rebbiz, operator of CarsDB.com, Myanmar's largest online used-car marketplace, and Japan's Toyota Tsusho expected the two-day auction in March to help improve Myanmar's dodgy used-car market, where around 100,000 vehicles are sold each year -- five times more than new cars.

Caveat emptor is an apt warning when buying a used car in Myanmar, which teems with poorly maintained vehicles up for sale. Rebbiz aims to transform this image by requiring that vehicles it lists be thoroughly inspected, with the results made available to prospective buyers.

The auction took place in a tent erected specifically for the event in Yangon, the country's largest city. A large screen above the stage displayed details of the vehicles and the status of bidding, which was limited to three minutes per vehicle.

Most of the bidders at the auction were used-car dealers, but the general public was also invited. In addition to pre-owned vehicles, new cars from dealers' excess inventories were also auctioned.

Asian auto auctions are gradually becoming more high tech, with bids now accepted online in some countries. Rebbiz's auction reflected this trend, as it invited people to submit bids using smartphones. The event was also streamed live over Facebook.

Rebbiz's website showcases about 10,000 cars and draws 200,000 people each month. In the past, secondhand auto dealers only connected buyers with sellers, who often misrepresented the condition of cars. Now, thanks to the tie-up with Toyota Tsusho, sellers must fill in a 200-item inspection sheet that covers everything from scratches and nicks to dents and engine details.

The Japanese company also trains local staff on how to run auctions.

Rebbiz CEO Wai Yan Lin said that "In other countries, car auctions are very popular. We are going to make a similar system to improve Myanmar's auto market and I think this auction will help."

But despite its groundbreaking efforts, Rebbiz still has a way to go: Of the 214 vehicles that went on the block, only 20 were sold over the two days. Both organizers and participants seemed unfamiliar with the art of the auction deal. For example, some cars went unsold due to minimum bids being set too high.

Toyota Tsusho's Daiki Kato said that "We hope to tackle these issues in the next [auction] round."

Source :

Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Fri, 17 May 2019
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