GM launches online used car website like Carvana called CarBravo
You’d probably be hard-pressed to name one area of public life that the pandemic hasn’t touched. From the way we buy our groceries to the way we work, COVID-19 has made us dependent on online technology. At the start of 2020, many companies had to speed up online ordering and delivery systems. But two years later, as the Omicron variant declines, consumer demand for online shopping platforms remains high. And General Motors is getting in on the action with its own used car shopping site.
Why consumers buy cars online
Even though Omicron seems to have reached its peak, many consumers still want to buy cars online. It was unheard of a few decades ago, but it’s much more common now. Even before the pandemic, many automakers were beefing up their websites, allowing consumers to customize models online before heading to the dealership to pick them up.
But at the start of the pandemic, with car dealerships not declared essential services in most states, dealers and manufacturers had to find other ways to sell cars. Many dealerships have started using video conferencing tools to conduct sales meetings with consumers and secure document portals to manage paperwork. Dealerships have even begun delivering vehicles to buyers’ homes after purchase or for test drives.
And although many industries are back to business almost as usual, consumers have become accustomed to shopping online. Car dealerships have also continuously refined their online sales process, making it increasingly easier for consumers to buy online. Now, not everyone is ready to skip a visit to the local dealership when buying their next car. But more are doing so now than before, encouraged by the positive experiences of buying cars online during the pandemic.
What is General Motors CarBravo?
To take advantage of this growing consumer preference, General Motors recently announced the launch of CarBravo. Starting in the spring of 2022, consumers will be able to use CarBravo’s online sales website to purchase used vehicles from GM dealerships nationwide. All used cars sold by CarBravo will be inspected and repaired as needed to meet GM quality standards. Vehicle history reports will also be available on the site.
If you’re looking to buy your car entirely online, you may be able to do so through CarBravo, depending on where you live. GM is working with local dealerships who already offer in-home test drives and home delivery to ensure they can sell their used car inventory through the website and also offer these services to car buyers in CarBravo opportunity.
CarBravo can also help you sell your vehicle even if you are not buying a used car on the site. After uploading your vehicle information, photos and other documents, you will receive a guaranteed purchase price from CarBravo based on Black Book values.
Will GM succeed with CarBravo?
General Motors is far from the first automaker to offer direct-to-consumer online sales. It’s not the only company selling used cars online, either. Several brands make their money by selling cars partially or entirely online. Some of the best known are Carvana, CarMax, Autotrader, Vroom and TrueCar.
Carvana is not only one of the best known names in this space, but it is also the fastest growing online used car retailer in the country. The Arizona-based company sells its inventory in multi-story glass buildings that look like vending machines. It also buys used cars from consumers. According to the Wall Street Journal, Carvana saw its sales surge early in the pandemic due to its ability to provide contactless delivery.
Another popular online car retailer is Vroom. Based in New York, Vroom is known for selling cars, handling financing, and buying vehicles from customers, all through seamless online transactions. Companies such as Carvana and Vroom were well established before the pandemic and will provide CarBravo with fierce competition.
However, CarBravo benefits from GM’s large nationwide inventory to sell, extensive dealer network to distribute, and GM Financial to issue auto loans. Car and Driver recently announced that General Motors will continue its policy of no longer allowing the sale of formerly leased vehicles outside the GM network, which should increase its inventory.
While it remains to be seen how well CarBravo will perform, GM is likely making the wise move to capitalize on the growing consumer preference for buying cars online.
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