The CarGurus Product teams have been hard at work, continuing to build new features and product enhancements that give our dealer partners more of what they need to succeed. Here are the key CarGurus product improvements you can expect now, and in the weeks to come.
CarGurus CEO Jason Trevisan sat down with The Boston Globe to discuss the ongoing supply shortages and why they may linger longer than anticipated.
After a disruptive February, the automotive environment continued its dynamism in March as a delayed tax season finally started to increase consumer demand, impacting inventory and prices. Additionally, ongoing supply chain challenges continued to impact the outlook for a “return to normal,” with expectations now shifting to Q4 from Q3 for full production to return.
“A faster, more reliable way for dealers to access inventory that other dealers want to unload because different cars sell well in different markets.”
On Monday, CarOffer, part of the CarGurus network, was featured in a segment on CNBC’s The News with Shepard Smith. The story captured the value CarOffer provides to dealers, showcasing how they’re opening up the market for used cars by trading them with other dealers and providing a glimpse into the energetic, stock market-like atmosphere helping fuel their growth.
While 2022 had been pegged as a pivot point, so far, we’re seeing more of the same. Continued plant shutdowns due to familiar narratives like chip shortages or new ones like cyber threats continue to impact new vehicle production. Beyond production, we also saw issues with the transportation of vehicles, from a cargo ship fire to blockades at bridges, all of which impact new inventory levels and continue to slow the trajectory towards a new normal. With those speed bumps all in just one month, it’s not surprising that we didn’t see much change in new inventory in February.
We’re excited to announce that we’ve expanded the Sell My Car program to include our first state on the West Coast! Sell My Car is now available to shoppers and dealers in California.
No need to request access – dealers subscribed to both CarGurus and CarOffer will be automatically enrolled in this program as “landed dealers.” Being a landed dealer means you’ll get exclusive first access to local inventory sold through the CarGurus Sell My Car page.
We’re thrilled to announce that CarOffer, which is now part of the CarGurus network, has reached a milestone with 10,000 enrolled dealer rooftops on its automated instant wholesale vehicle trade platform – offering our dealers more opportunities to acquire and offload inventory. The impressive benchmark comes only two and a half years after launching its Buying Matrix™ platform, a revolutionary approach to vehicle ordering that provides dealers with an instant, efficient, and cost-effective way to buy, sell, and trade inventory.
So far, 2022 has felt like déjà vu – instead of a hopeful new start, we’re instead seeing several familiar refrains from 2021. Thankfully, though, we appear to be at an inflection point in a journey to a ‘new normal’ versus backsliding into further disruption of 2021.
New inventory levels declined slightly in January by 5%, although month-end and weekly seasonality trends had a strong part in that decline, as the inventory index reading was flat with December just a couple of days prior. With how threadbare new inventory has become, month-over-month variances have become a bit sensitive – however, the year-over-year numbers still show new inventory down nearly 70%. Conversely, used inventory continued to see improvement in January and is now down just 0.8% compared to last year. The recovery in used inventory volumes is one reason we saw a recovery in 2021 used sales, while new sales volumes continue to be impacted.
“Demand is still strong in the marketplace and we could be seeing sales in the 17 million unit range (for 2022). So most likely if vehicle production picks up we’ll see recovery in sales before recovery in inventory.”
Although there were inventory gains in December, inventory acquisition remains top of mind for dealers looking for new ways to stock their lots and meet strong consumer demand. Kevin Roberts, CarGurus Director of Industry Insights & Analytics, recently spoke with CNBC and Forbes on the topic, sharing insight into what dealers can expect in the future. Check out the articles below:
Of course a year of surprises would end with even more. Sales for the full year came in at the lower end of our estimated range with an annual total of 14.9m. A glass-half-full view would say that’s a further recovery from last year’s level of 14.5m and still, a lot of metal moved. The glass half empty would look at the lost sales due to missing inventory and remain wistful for annual sales that likely would have surpassed 17m.
Where things get really surprising is that new inventory actually increased in December to a 5-month high, with the CarGurus New Vehicle Availability Index increasing by 17.9% in December. So how did sales slightly underperform while inventory increased? We’re likely starting to see a situation where the mix of inventory is becoming as important as just having a vehicle— both for vehicle body type and price (more on that in a bit). Not to be forgotten, the used index also increased 9.8%, and since used sales have seen a full recovery, we’re likely seeing more of a normal seasonal decline, which is driving the inventory increase we see in December. While monthly inventory gains are great, new inventory is still down 68.7% compared to last year, and used inventory is in a significantly better position with index levels down only 6.7% from last year.