GM rolls out massive US-based used-car site CarBravo

13 January 2022

General Motors (GM) will launch a US-based online used-car market dubbed CarBravo, allowing the carmaker and its dealers to take on marketplace giants like Carvana. The manufacturer said the platform will offer customers a new way to shop for used vehicles.

Consumers will soon be able to access hundreds of thousands of used cars on the new website. CarBravo will list models across GM’s participating dealerships, as well as used vehicles owned by GM and its finance arm, GM Financial. The company said dealer enrolment has already begun, with the consumer launch expected to kick off in spring 2022.

‘CarBravo will give customers more choice and access to shop significantly expanded inventories of both the dealer and a national central stock of GM used vehicles. Importantly, the program features will also be offered on non-GM used vehicles,’ said Steve Carlisle, GM executive vice president and president of GM North America. ‘CarBravo is designed to provide customers the convenience to shop how they want, where they want – online, at the dealership or both.’

Digital retail

The platform will offer cars owned by Chevrolet, Buick and GMC dealers on top of vehicles and trucks controlled by GM Financial. Company officials said dealers have about 400,000 used vehicles in stock. GM and GM Financial handle an additional 500,000 used cars in stock each year.

‘Used vehicles are a significant part of our business,’ said Todd Ingersoll, dealer principal of Ingersoll Auto in Danbury, Connecticut, whose dealership participated in the CarBravo pilot. ‘We are excited to join GM in exceeding our customers’ expectations and continuing to provide a world-class experience.’

With CarBravo, GM is hoping to improve the shopping, buying and ownership experience. It said customers will not only have access to an expansive inventory, but also exclusive ownership benefits. Its new digital retail platform will provide a simple shopping interface. This will feature clear dealer pricing, vehicle history reports and 360-degree views of the vehicle.

All vehicles offered on the platform will be inspected and reconditioned, coming with standard warranty coverage, a nationwide network of dealerships for service and maintenance. Additional benefits include roadside service and courtesy transportation. Customers will also receive guaranteed online offers and may make use of at-home test drives, as well as home deliveries.

Taking on market players

Online used-car retailing promises transparency and ease of use, appealing to both dealerships and consumers. GM will enrol its 3,800 US dealers over the next few months, expecting most of them to participate in CarBravo. The US used-car market is highly fragmented, with 40 million used vehicles typically sold every year. Local companies, such as CarMax and Carvana, are currently dominating the used-vehicle market, with GM aiming to counter these giants. 

The news might have come as a surprise to some of the major players. ‘While we are still learning about the newly announced service from GM, what they have set out to do is difficult,’ said Jim Lyski, CarMax executive vice-president and chief marketing officer leading strategy, product and marketing, in a statement to Reuters.

GM’s new platform will allow it to cash in on the lucrative used-car market that has seen continuous growth over the past years, with most vehicles sold being second-hand. It has opened up another revenue stream for the company, while also providing an opportunity to improve residual values.