Carly Holdings Limited (ASX:CL8) is celebrating two years since the launch of Carly Car Subscription, in March 2019. An inaugural year, followed by a year of economic devastation and crumbling job security are not idyllic conditions for the launch of a new business in an emerging sector of a competitive industry; but Carly Holdings has come out the other side having recorded strong growth during the COVID crisis. Now that alone is worth raising a glass for!
Carly, Australia’s first flexible car subscription service provides individuals and businesses with the use of a car, without the long-term burden of debt or ownership. This is quite an appealing proposition especially considering the economic impact of COVID-19 and the financial uncertainty that has rattled many Australians during recent times.
Whilst still considered an emerging market in Australia, car subscription adoption is gaining pace globally. In Europe, the US and UK, new car subscription services are being established at a faster rate as the market becomes more aware of the benefits of subscribing to a car, as you would a movie streaming service or mobile phone plan.
In Australia, the launch of Carly in 2019 attracted significant investment from automotive industry heavyweights SG Fleet (ASX:SGF) and Turners Automotive (ASX:TRA) as both companies sought to leverage Carly’s innovation and technology capabilities to meet their customers’ evolving vehicle needs.
New Car Subscriptions Increase During COVID
For Carly, new car subscriptions have continued to increase as more Australians come to value the flexibility of a monthly subscription and make the transition away from the hassles of car ownership. As a first mover in car subscription services, Carly has seen steady growth since launch, which also continued during and beyond COVID.
Many individuals chose car subscription to avoid catching public transport or delay making long term financial commitments due to concerns with job security and economic uncertainty. This resulted in new car subscription sign ups exceeding pre-COVID figures – a 221% increase in live subscriptions in the 12 months to 30 September 2020. The average subscription period also increased to more than 5 months, suggesting that existing customers are happy with the service and it is meeting their financial and transport needs.
Considering these results came during a year of financial instability and economic uncertainty, the team at Carly Car Subscription feel the model has proved itself to have excellent Product-Market-Fit, cementing the position as a truly flexible car mobility service that meets the needs of today’s drivers. But alas, now is not the time to rest; with confidence in the product building and evidence of strong consumer demand (vehicle utilisation has been sitting above 80% in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane), the team is now executing on an innovative business and technology roadmap to build market share into 2021.
Planning for the Future of Carly Car Subscription in Australia
Looking ahead, industry commentators are far more optimistic about the automotive industry than they were 12 months ago. In a recent article titled, Top 10 Global Automotive Trends for 2021, Forbes forecast an 8% year-on-year rise in vehicle sales in 2021, and made a number of predictions for the year ahead including; a substantial ramp up in production of EVs, the beginning of manufacturers incorporating reuse and recycle programs in their production cycle, and a rise in car subscription services – with vehicle commitments that they suggest “could be as short as a Tinder date”.
While adding a swipe left/ right feature to car listings pages has not yet made it to Carly’s list of upcoming features, the technology roadmap does contain a balance of optimisation vs new features. For the past six months, Carly’s technology team has been undertaking research and development to identify, plan and execute substantial improvements to its proprietary software platform. Specifically, the roadmap will provide greater optimisation of user experience, customer relations management, increased sales automation, integration with third party software providers and more streamlined execution of sales and accounting processes.
Once completed, these upgrades will improve both the customer experience of Carly’s online platform, as well as making substantial gains in internal operational efficiencies for both our team and the white label subscription partner, Turners Subscription.
Partner Update: Turners Subscription Adds 60+ Vehicles to White Labelled Platform
2021 has also started well for Carly Holdings’ key shareholder and white labelled subscription partner, Turners Automotive.
In early March, Turners Subscription added over 60 additional vehicles to the Turners Subscription fleet. This takes their total vehicles available for subscription to over 90 at the time of writing, and also includes a number of Electric Vehicles.
Carly provides Turners with an end-to-end online subscription platform and customer service management while Turners manage their own fleet, operations and marketing services, which are integrated into the website and software. By partnering with Carly, Turners were able to rapidly launch a car subscription business without the need to build their online online technology platform.
About Carly Holdings Limited
Carly Holdings (ASX:CL8) is an Australian online technology company that is leading the growth of the car subscription industry in Australia & New Zealand.
Carly Holdings launched Carly, Australia’s first flexible car subscription service in March 2019 and rapidly secured automotive industry leaders SG Fleet (ASX:SGF) and Turners Automotive (ASX:TRA) as significant shareholders, joining other long-term shareholders, including RACV.
Carly car subscription is a flexible alternative to finance or outright purchase of a vehicle that does not require commitment to long term debt. The vehicle can be ‘switched’ for another vehicle if requirements change. Average subscription period is 5.3 months and increasing (Sep 2020). Omnipoll research shows that 38% of Australians would consider car subscription.
Through our businesses, Carly and DriveMyCar, we have been chosen by leading automotive and mobility companies including Hyundai, Subaru, Peugeot, Suttons Motors, Uber, Turners Automotive, RACV and SG Fleet to deliver innovative mobility solutions in Australia & New Zealand.
Uniquely, Carly Holdings operates a capital light business model. We do not own fleets of vehicles, instead we enable automotive manufacturers & dealers, fleet managers and corporate fleets to generate revenue from their vehicles and provide the flexible access to vehicles that consumers and businesses are increasingly seeking.