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I had really an awesome and wonderful introduction with TSM. It's assured that to sell a vehicle, I think this could be an appropriate place for anyone, I hope.Praveen Manthiramoorthy
Thanks for the Support Team TSM! I bought a silver Ritz petrol car and I am very happy by the way your Staff responded to me during the chain of communications and vehicle delivery. I am very happy with the performance of my ritz. I have started recommending my friends to TSM for used cars. Keep up the good work.V. Leela Kumar
I had a very good experience selling my car through TSM. I researched the market for a month and this was the best offer I got. The transaction also happened very quickly. Thank you TSM!Karthik
I purchased my car though TSM last month. I am happy that I got a car I liked and at a price I liked as well. Coming to TSM, I have slowly changed my mind set about buying used cars.Murali
My first conversation with TSM gave me the confidence that I am selling my car through a reputed source. They educated me on how to assess a used car and explained me on how they derived at a selling price. I can undoubtedly say that TSM is the place to go for trading used carsSasi
We have dealt with TSM for over 18 years now. We have been trading in our cars for new or newer vehicles regularly over these years. It has been a completely hassle free experience. More importantly, the documentation is clear, clean and very legal.Kishore S.N. Vice President. Triad Software Pvt. Ltd. Read More
23 April 2015
We have dealt with TSM for over 18 years now. We have been trading in our cars for new or newer vehicles regularly over these years. It has been a completely hassle free experience. More importantly, the documentation is clear, clean and very legal. The financial aspects have been clear and fair with no room for any niggling doubts.
The Sales and Marketing team has been very helpful in aiding us with the right choice for our requirements and budget. The S&M team have answered all our questions very patiently, with sincerity, during multiple visits before decision making. The customer service has been truly outstanding.
The cars purchased at TSM has given us a trouble-free performance throughout our usage over time.
Overall, we have had a great experience in all our transactions at TSM who have been a one-stop shop for all our automotive purchases.
Triad Software Pvt. Ltd.
My association with TS Mahalingam and Sons is more than a decade. It has always been my 'one stop' solution for buying a used car. I have always found that TSM's advice is tailor made to your needs. Mr Ravishankar and his staff are always courteous, honest and support you far beyond the purchase.Sasi Dr.V.Sripathi MS, MCh, FRACS Senior Consultant Pediatric Urologist and Robotic Surgeon Apollo Children's Hospital
I wish to share my experience and feeling in dealing with TSM. The team of persons make you comfortable and at ease during the transaction. One would feel at home. They prove to be responsible and that exhibits their TRUST in action.Best wishes R Raman
BLOGS VIEW ALL
Customer commitment and brand obsession keep this Chennai-based firm going strong
Named after the founder who kicked off operations in 1935, it is now being run by the third generation: N Balasubhramanian, his cousins K Mahalingam and K Ravishankar.
While Mahalingam and his younger brother Ravishankar operate out of the corporate office in Royapettah – a stone’s throw from where their grandfather first started dealing in used cars from under a tree – Balasubhramanian works at the Velacheri outlet.
What has kept them going is the trust and loyalty of their customers who too span generations. It is common to hear the TSM trio use phrases like “not letting our customers down” and “keeping everything above board”. It is these mantras that have not only retained their name but also helped them grow in a largely disorganised market.
Mahalingam says there are a few issues germane to the industry which are both a threat and an opportunity. “We are one of the few tax-complying used cars dealers. This business comprises nearly 80 per cent individual traders. We do not deal with cash and walk away from cash deals even if there is a lot of money to be made,” he says.
According to Mahalingam, customers baulk at the idea of having to pay one per cent tax collected at source for transactions above ₹10 lakh. “We have to take it from the buyer and pay on his behalf into his account. Most customers view it as a cash rather than tax payment.” They would prefer TSM to give them a net price and pay tax on their behalf instead. “Our margins get eroded,” says Mahalingam. TSM works on a 5-6 per cent margin.
The partners are also not sure how GST will unfold. Many customers from villages do not have permanent account numbers. There have been instances when financiers did not endorse the loan sanctioned to the customer which the latter did not disclose when they sold their cars to TSM.
Likewise, the Internet is a double edged sword. Today’s generation checks out a vehicle’s price online as well as TSM’s Google rating. The company has a portal where it displays cars for sale and also buys leads from other portals. Ravishankar feels the conversions are not at the level they would like it to be.
What changes have they seen in their business? Plenty, says Mahalingam, since the time he came on board in 1988 and the landscape only had Maruti, Hindustan Motors and Premier Automobiles. The 1990s saw a proliferation of international brands and an increase in the number of used cars.
Earlier, TSM acted as brokers in bringing the buyer and seller together and collecting a commission. Now, it does trading where it offers a spot price to sellers who can walk out with a cheque in half an hour flat. This change was driven by customers who did not have the time to wait for a buyer.
Even in the digital age, Mahalingam and Ravishankar believe that the role of an intermediary like TSM will only grow. Checking the authenticity of documents and ensuring their proper transfer needs a lot of running around and maintaining records. “We have appeared before various agencies to answer tax-related queries on behalf of our clients,” says Mahalingam.
TSM deals in 220-250 used cars a month and can do more but for its obsession with providing quality service and ensuring that brand value is not compromised. For TSM to grow, Mahalingam says it needs to train and develop more managers. “We have had enquiries to set up franchisees but are afraid to dilute our brand,” he adds.
In the days when used cars were still bought and sold through classified advertisements in newspapers, it was TSM which pioneered the publication of a grid that gave the approximate price of a car.
How is the value of a car decided? “Out of 10 cars, if I am able to sell one that has done around 40,000 km and is three years old for around ₹3.50 lakh, then that number becomes the median. Based on the repairs and refurbishments required, the price may go up or down,” says Ravishankar. Mahalingam adds that it is a function of the forward sellable price minus estimated expenses and margin.
There is no trick, assures Balasubhramanian. “First, we have to find today’s price of a new car with nearly eight variants in the price band of ₹5-8 lakh,” he says. Depreciation calculation comes next, followed by evaluating market response and the waitlist.
According to Ravishankar, cars in the ₹2-4 lakh band such as i10, Santro, i20, WagonR and Swift are in demand followed by sedans in the ₹4-7 lakh range, led by Honda City. There is good demand for well-maintained luxury cars in the ₹15-35 lakh range that have not clocked too many kilometres.
Despite requests from carmakers, TSM has shied away from setting up new dealerships. “We took a decision that our return on capital would be better in this business. I am not saying we will not do a dealership but will figure it out if the right opportunity comes,” says Mahalingam.
What is the mandate given for his US-educated son Anirudh, who has joined the business? None, says Balasubhramanian. There are a few mantras though that he has passed on – do not lie; truth is just truth, however bitter it is. Two, do not touch something that is not yours. Three, under no circumstances, should you compromise on ethics. These are the mantras passed down over the years.
Why Insurance?Insurance premiums are a big percentage of the cost of owning a car. It is a necessary expensive in order to protect the car owner from the following events:
- Damage to the car in an accident
- Financial liability to a third party involved in a car accident
- Medical expenses in the event of injury in an accident
- Theft of the car
What kinds of Insurance?There are basically three types of insurance covers available to car owners:
- Third-party liability Cover
- Collision Cover
- Comprehensive Cover
Third Party Liability CoverThe first type of car insurance involves the financial liability for the owner to an affected party in the event of an accident that is the fault of the driver. This cover is a must-have for car owners, according to the law. Motor Vehicles Act of India mandates that every car owner purchase at least the third-party liability cover. Collision cover protects the car owner from damage to the car, in the event of a collision. If the car is damaged or destroyed in an accident, collision insurance coverage will pay to fix or replace it. Types of covered accidents include hitting another car or hitting a stationary object, like a bridge or a tree. This is not mandatory but not having this means the car owner runs a huge risk of not being able to fix the car after an accident. The third kind of car insurance - Comprehensive Cover - is the most popular type of insurance as it covers both third-party liability and collision coverage. One can also buy optional insurance covers, termed as add-ons to cover various other liabilities. Some of the more popular add-ons are Engine Protection (covers engine repairs for owners of high-end cars), zero depreciation cover and road-side assistance. All of this sounds too good? Of course there is always a fine-print. Loss or damage is not covered by car insurance under the following conditions -
- when the policy is not in force
- if the person driving does not hold a valid driving licence
- if the driver has been under the influence of alcohol/drugs
- when driving in violation of manufacturer's guidelines
- as a result of oil leakage
- gradual wear and tear of the car and the parts
- Very competitive quotes
- Comprehensive guidance for 'cashless' claims
- Solid professional advice
- Doorstep service