Gulliver is the largest used car dealer in Japan and recently opened their second New Zealand branch in Glenfield, Auckland. I interviewed Ms. Shelyn Yeap, Branch manager, and Mr. Hayata Uchida, Managing Director.
The first branch that opened in New Market in 2014 focused on online shopping, one of the characteristics of Gulliver, which has more than 600 branches in Japan and more than 60 overseas. The Glenfield shop is huge, and is a showroom cum service centre. It also has the feel of ‘museum’ with a number of classic cars on display.
The branch has 16 staff including 5 Japanese, 5 Chinese, 2 Korean, 1 Polish, 1 Italian, 1 Colombian and 1 kiwi. Ms. Yeap is a Malaysian educated in Auckland, and Mr. Shintaro Harasaki, whom I asked about electric cars and who recommended Toyota hybrids, was sent directly from Japan.
The biggest point of difference, according to Ms. Yeap and Mr. Uchida, is the quality of cars.
“Used car industry, in New Zealand in particular, hasn’t enjoyed good reputation as trustworthy and reliable. Gulliver is changing that.” Gulliver buys up to 10,000 cars a year in Japan, then meticulously checks the condition (four inspectors per one car) including odometer in the Improvement Centre in Japan, and ship them with a certificate to guarantee quality.
Once in New Zealand, they further check and improve parts to comply with regulations here. They replace the radio with one with New Zealand frequency. The purchased car has one year guarantee, and the repair shop with a Japanese chief mechanic, who used to work for Porche, does full services for reasonable prices, and of course WOF. It has grooming department which does handwashing and crystal coating which makes regular washing unnecessary.
You can chat with staff directly and immediately, and can purchase online.