AutoChek, an automotive technology company using technology to re-create the buying, maintenance and selling experience of automobiles in Africa, has received loads of applications just few months into operation in the country.
With three innovative after-sale services such as quarterly maintenance, insurance contract and tracking systems, the many challenges clients face after taking automobile loans from banks leading to defaults and non-performing loans have been addressed; a situation that is putting confidence into the public to sign up.
HR & Business Compliance Manager-Autochek Ghana, Yvonne Ahlie, narrating the journey so far since operations started in Ghana indicated that before entering the market, research findings available showed that many clients default because the vehicles have break-downs or develop some minor electrical issues during the payback period; and in such situations the debtor is unable to fix his vehicle and pay the loan back at the same time – the reason for introducing these three distinguished services.
“We have received over 1,000 loan applications so far. With the financing partners, we have been able to de-risk the loan system for them. What we have done is that as a customer comes through our side, we take the basic know your customer (KYC) information, and also every loan package is bundled with annual maintenance contract, insurance and tracking.
“So, with our annual maintenance contract, every three months the customer takes the vehicle to our partner workshops for maintenance and inspection; and at every inspection there is a detailed report made on the car’s condition, which is given to the financing partners to know the condition of the car at every moment,” she said.
This first part, she said, addresses the major reason why customers are unable to pay their loans back to the bank; so once this is resolved, constant breakdown and default payments are taken care of – and it also gives data on the vehicle’s value at each point in time in case of resale or auction.
Touching on the tracking system function, she indicated that this system enables the vehicle to be tracked daily on behalf of clients; so that in case the vehicle is stolen or taken across the borders of the country, it will be easily identified. “Thus, wherever the vehicle is we are able to track and monitor it for clients.”
Madam Ahlie further indicated that Autochek’s priority is to make it possible for every middle- and upper-class worker, as well as business persons, to be able to access a car; and in that regard, provision has been made for corporate institutions to sign up and buy vehicles for their staff or officers on discounted auto loans.
Currently, Autochek provides the platform for interested parties to be able to procure both brand-new and foreign used vehicles of their choice.
However, with the government agenda on local manufacturing that has given room for some foreign automobile brands to commence assembling here in Ghana, management of the company is engaging these local manufacturers to bring them on board. Another significant local partnership that will be introduced is a partnership with Kantanka Automobile, so lovers of the brand will be able to purchase through the Autochek arrangement.
In relation to its annual maintenance contract facility, top-class auto-shops and mechanics have also been added to the platform to deliver the best service to clients.
The company has also introduced a live car auction service for local cars owners, whereby clients who wish to sell their vehicles are afforded the opportunity to trade them on the platform.