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CARLY, the Australian car subscription provider operated by Collaborate Corporation, has had all-time record subscription sales in the quarter to June 2020 in spite of, or possibly because of, the challenging sales numbers in the ‘conventional’ car market.

The company says that the number of live Carly car subscriptions increased by 43 percent during the June 2020 quarter.

The company said in a statement that the result “solidifies Carly’s positioning as the ideal car access solution, especially in times of economic uncertainty”.

“Like many businesses, Carly had to deal with the impact of COVID-19 during the June 2020 quarter but it proved resilient and achieved the highest quarterly growth in subscriptions since the beginning of FY20,” the statement said.

The company’s flexible model of car ownership is especially appealing to drivers in times of economic uncertainty where all the overheads (except fuel) are covered in one regular payment and where drivers can hand back the car with one month’s notice without penalty.

The company said the record performance “validates Collaborate’s decision to shift focus towards the high potential car subscription market and positions the company well to benefit from the generational shift in car use and access preferences, which is accelerating in the current recessionary economic climate”.

The increase of subscriptions in the June quarter by 43 per cent compares with retail sales of new passenger vehicles and SUVs, which declined by 18 percent in the June 2020 quarter vs. the March 2020 quarter (VFACTS June 2020).

The company statement said that Carly was an alternative to car purchase and provided a lower risk option for consumers and businesses that require cars but do not want to take on long-term financial commitments.

“Given the recent economic turmoil, Carly provides a highly attractive option for consumers and businesses, and Collaborate expects this interest to continue to increase,” it said.

Highlights  of Carly’s performance this year include:

  • A 43 percent increase in live subscriptions at 30 June 2020 vs. 30 March 2020 and 179 percent increase vs. 30 June 2019
  • A 13 percent increase in subscription transaction value vs. March 2020 quarter and 320 percent increase vs. June 2019 quarter
  • A 19 percent increase in subscriptions booked vs. March 2020 quarter and 81 percent increase vs. June 2019 quarter.

In an announcement to the ASX, Carly CEO Chris Noone said: “While many businesses are being severely impacted by COVID-19, Collaborate’s shift in focus to car subscription with Carly has prepared it well to deal with the current challenges, benefit from economic uncertainty and leverage opportunities brought about by longer term structural changes in consumer needs and the automotive market.

“Carly car subscription is an alternative to a lease, loan or outright purchase of a vehicle and provides consumers and businesses with the ability to access vehicles they require without long-term financial risk.

“It is likely that the COVID-19-related concern about the strength of the economy will accelerate the shift to more flexible vehicle access options. We believe that Carly is likely to benefit from this shift, even in an environment of slow economic growth.

“Car subscription service Carly removes the need to use finance to access a car and packages the cost of car registration, roadside assistance, comprehensive and CTP insurance and maintenance into one simple monthly subscription.

“Subscriptions can be stopped with 30 days notice without penalty, providing greater financial freedom.

“Carly’s flexible vehicle access is an appealing, low-risk solution for Australian businesses and consumers, and we are energised by the latest results that indicate the shift to car subscription has been accelerated by the current economic challenges,” Mr Noone said.

Footnote: Carly is Australia’s first flexible monthly car subscription service, providing the freedom for drivers to switch their car to suit their lifestyle.

Subscribers can choose from multiple brands; economy to luxury, hatchback to SUV.

There are no hefty upfront fees or long-term lock-in contracts. Registration, servicing and maintenance are included. Owners can start, change or stop their subscription at any time.

By John Mellor

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