Sci & Tech

New Car Website Set to Disrupt Tradition

New Car Website Set to Disrupt TraditionNew Car Website Set to Disrupt Tradition

As more and more services head to an "online first" strategy, there are some obvious areas of business that look set to radically transform how people interact with each other when selling and buying online.

Iran's new and secondhand car industry is another area traditionally untouched by the tech community–until now.

Omid Ebadi, previously a senior executive of Asus Iran, and his business partners aim to transform online car trade through selling platform, the Persian word for Valve.

For Ebadi, the future of the car industry is "via social networks rather than traditional dealers".

"People want to discuss and rate the sellers of vehicles as well as the cars themselves," he said.

Telegram mobile messenger application is also playing a major role in Supap's business plan. As more people move to the platform, the company hopes to grab the enthusiasm of car owners by forming a large chat group.

So, what makes his site different from his forebears is the ability to create a community of car buyers–an unusual but interesting take on the idea of online purchasing.

Ebadi believes that it is not a startup in the usual sense, but an established business that aims to build on the experience of the group.

He also acknowledges that the so-called industry changing idea is not the first to the market and as the Financial Tribune pointed out, a few companies are already ahead of him.

They differentiate themselves from, the current car listings leader, with their price comparison service, something Ebadi says has not been tried before in the local market.

The company says they have over 2,000 companies listed on their site, with a range of different cars.

The company chief explained, "When you are a (car) gallery owner, you need to compare yourself with each other and that's why our merchant panel has an advantage over others."

The CEO added that currently with our analytics system, we can see which cars are trending.

"So for example, at the moment, Toyota, Hyundai and Kia are three most popular [cars being viewed]," he said, added that among Iranian cars, the low-cost Kia Pride remains the most viewed car and Peugeot 206 ranks second.

Ebadi then explained that because his website wants to interact with customers, they are also planning to produce original Persian-language content on their website, to bring in the viewers, another thing has not explored.

"We do not want to become Top Gear; we want to be a major resource for Iran," he said.

Whatever the outcome of this project, one thing is for sure the online retail market for cars is becoming increasingly crowded and Supap's offering is going to be a welcome change from the existing providers.

"We want to be number one, we're not thinking how much [money] we can make, but how we can serve our customers over the next 10 years," Ebadi said.