Former agency executives Tim O’Neill and Tim Fouhy launched automotive tech startup Summon. Australia’s first comprehensive e-commerce service for premium cars.
O’Neill and Fouhy both founded Reactive, a digital agency, which was acquired by Accenture in 2016. Following the deal, O’Neill and Fouhy ended up leading the company’s digital marketing arm, Accenture Interactive before founding Summon.
Summon offers car enthusiasts a completely contactless way to buy and sell vehicles privately. The new offer, available in Melbourne, Sydney, Gold Coast and Brisbane, builds on Summon’s existing concierge service, which focuses on cars worth over $50,000.
Since their launch in 2020, they have sold over 85 cars with a total value of $8 million.
The new e-commerce service digitizes the entire car buying process. It replaces a test drive – which is not possible during shutdowns – with a variety of other digital alternatives and a money-back-on-delivery guarantee. Until now, this was not available for private sellers, only for car dealerships and auction houses.
The launch capitalized on rising used car prices, which, due to supply constraints triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, have risen 34% over the past 12 months according to the latest data from Moody Analytics.
The average price of cars sold on the Summon platform is $94,000.
The e-commerce service includes:
- Up to 100 professional photos of each car are listed with interior, exterior and engine photos.
- A Redbook remote inspection of the car – an independent quality check for the car.
- A live virtual vehicle inspection with the buyer and seller.
- The possibility of arranging a mechanical inspection of the car by a third party before purchase.
- Virtual finalization of the transaction by phone and e-mail.
- Either contactless delivery of the vehicle or the click and collect alternative.
- A money-back guarantee if the buyer is not completely satisfied with the vehicle upon final inspection
Tim O’Neill, co-founder and CEO of Summon, said: “This new Australian service is the safest and most comprehensive way to buy a luxury car privately during lockdown.”
“Selling your car privately is a fantastic alternative to just selling your car to a dealership and losing an average of 15% of your asset value.
“We manage the entire process for the seller and work with them to get the best possible value for their car.”
“For buyers, there is no better way on the market to buy a luxury car from a private individual during the confinement. We have worked hard to ensure that the service is not only safe but comprehensive, covering everything what you need to know while giving you the ability to request more information or clarification at any time.
“Dealers and OEMs are starting to offer ways to sell cars online due to ongoing lockdowns, but 50% of used cars in Australia are sold to individuals.
“We found there was a gap in providing a safe way to sell cars online for people who want to sell their car privately.
“Last year’s closures triggered this shift in approach for Summon, and now we’re ahead of the curve in helping the private buying and selling of prestige cars, in a logistically challenging time to do so. “