Hyundai Glovis introduces used-car listing platform
It's called Autobell.
The availability of the new site comes as carmakers in Korea struggle to get into the used car business, which until recently was protected by regulation as the domain of smaller companies. It is still being informally protected by regulators.
Hyundai Glovis, a logistic company, is 4.88 percent owned by Hyundai Motor, which has been pushing to get into the business.
Dealers and individuals can list their cars on Autobell by paying a fee of about 20,000 won ($16.81) per vehicle, though it can be higher if premium services are added, such as a 360-degree view.
In order to prevent scams and to detect lemons, Autobell provides an inspection service for listed cars. Deals made via the site are tracked to ensure fairness.
"Before, we didn't know how the used cars were retailed to the customers after we sold them to dealers through auctions," said Kang Sung-gon, a Hyundai Glovis spokesman, Thursday.
Hyundai Glovis has been in the used car business since 2001, selling secondhand vehicles to dealers by auction.
"Now, we want to engage in the latter part of the retail process and ensure more credible deals to the customers," the spokesman said.
Carmakers and other large companies in Korea have been arguing that the used car market is awash in scams and that their presence is needed to clean up the business.
Autobell will be on the lookout for bait-and-switch scams, whereby a cheap car is offered but ultimately unavailable and replaced by a more expensive car.
"If a customer who used our platform was manipulated with false offerings, we instantly kick out the dealer, and they can never come back," Kang said.
The introduction of Autobell comes less than a week after the Ministry of SMEs and Startups temporarily prohibited Hyundai Motor from entering the used car market after used car dealers protested the move.
Used car dealing was selected as a business suitable for only small and midsize companies in 2013. The designation expired in 2019 but Hyundai Motor and other big companies have been prevented from entering the market. The ministry continues to evaluate the designation and will make a final determination later in the year.
"The Hyundai Glovis Autobell site is a brokerage service that doesn't directly engage in sales to the customers and is not related to what Hyundai Motor is trying to do in the used car business," the spokesman from Hyundai Glovis said.
BY JIN EUN-SOO [email@example.com]