In a recent statement released by the Australian Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), Chief Executive, Tony Weber commented on the positive growth the industry has seen throughout September. Current figures reveal that Australians purchased 83,312 new cars in September, an increase of more than 21% compared to September 2020. Some states and territories, such as Victoria have recorded a 96% increase in new vehicle sales compared to the previous year, with areas such as Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia, and Western Australia also showing positive growth hovering close to 16%.
Now, a leading independent automotive website, CarExpert.com.au is taking charge to reinvent the car research process on a national level adapting to an era of COVID. Efforts from the Australian automotive experts have seen their recent CarExpert Experience Centre achieve major success and interest from the general public and car brands – allowing them the opportunity to introduce a modern automotive experience.
The Experience Centre by CarExpert.com.au
The CarExpert Experience Centre has recently wrapped up a 12-week trial in a Westfield shopping centre, allowing interested new car buyers to see, experience and test drive the latest in the automotive world. The Australian startup was founded by Paul Maric, Alborz Fallah, and Anthony Crawford in 2020 and has since its inception raised more than $6 million through a raft of investors.
CarExpert.com.au initially started as an automotive publication, but quickly grew and pivoted as the pandemic took hold. While CarExpert.com.au is now Australia’s fastest growing automotive publication, the CarExpert Experience Centre was borne from a realisation that new car buyers wanted and needed a pressure-free, brand agnostic environment to research new cars without the pressure of salespeople.
The CarExpert Experience Centre became that place and offered readers of the website an ability to visit a physical venue to look and feel the latest cars on the market before deciding on the one that’s right for them.
With more than 30,000 visitors to the CarExpert Experience Centre during the three month trial, the space showcased 20 new cars, and offered visitors free expert advice. This world-first experience proved there was demand for this type of facility.
How did it work exactly? CarExpert.com.au co-founder Paul Maric explains:
“Our intention isn’t to offer a sales experience with the experience centre – we realised that process will likely always take place through a dealership or a manufacturer’s website. Instead our approach was to arm the buyer with as much information as possible in a free, brand agnostic environment with no salespeople. In addition to that, our team developed an AI system that used a network of 40 roof-mounted cameras to track visitor movements around the space.
“The data-driven AI could determine the sex and demographic of the visitor and also collected information about which cars they looked at, sat in and drove. This data was valuable to automotive manufacturers because it gave them a ‘real life’ insight into what consumers cross shopped when they were offered a choice of other car brands and models,” Maric said.
Who is CarExpert.com.au?
Before the founders decided to start CarExpert.com.au, all three members sold their previous automotive publishing company, CarAdvice.com, to Australia’s biggest television network – the Nine Entertainment Company for a final valuation of over $60 million.
After the initial success of CarAdvice.com, the team then decided to launch a new platform that would offer independent automotive advice and data to those interested car companies.
Sources familiar with the operation suggest a current valuation of around $25 million, but nothing yet has been officially stated by the team. CarExpert.com.au is built on the basis of offering independent expert advice without the need for display advertising. The current website houses a plethora of information and news, but with no display advertising, or points of possible sales. It’s truly an independent car research experience.
Who are the founders of CarExpert.com.au?
CarExpert.com.au was founded in 2020 by Paul Maric, Alborz Fallah, and Anthony Crawford. Two of the three founders (Paul Maric and Alborz Fallah) are immigrants, who worked alongside Anthony Crawford to start the independent company. Just a year after starting, the three startup entrepreneurs have worked to bring about modern innovation to an industry struggling under current economic conditions.
Paul Maric completed a degree in Mechanical Engineering at Swinburne University of Technology, and Alborz Fallah holds a degree in IT, Cognitive Science and is an Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Queensland.
Finally, Anthony, the eldest of the group has obtained a list of qualifications including a Bachelor in Marketing from the University of Memphis. This team of car experts and enthusiasts believe that each person should end up in the car they deserve and require.
Will there be another CarExpert Experience Centre?
Yes! CarExpert.com.au has now witnessed the initial success of the CarExpert Experience Centre trial and will be rolling out the Experience Centre concept across Australia. The business model showed huge success, and the use of Artificial Intelligence throughout the whole centre makes it possible to conduct thorough market-related research.
CarExpert.com.au can then sell the data to car companies for them to better understand how they can adapt and influence their customers.
The CarExpert Experience Centre breaks the boundaries on what it takes to offer customers an enjoyable and relaxed car demo experience. Without the need for salespeople, the Experience Centre creates a unique feeling, combining a traditional business model with modern influence.