The last year has been a strange one for both automakers and the automotive industry as a whole. There have been plenty of positives and negatives stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, including production woes and a new and used vehicle boom. Some new data from used car seller Carvana also shows some interesting trends worth diving into.
Carvana examined hundreds of thousands of purchases and millions of site visits from the past year to identify insights that made online car buying one of the hottest trends in the U.S., as well as find out what is driving shoppers into 2021.
“Car buyers have been waiting for a safe, transparent, and effective way to purchase vehicles online, and the events of 2020 only helped accelerate the growth that we were already generating,” said Ernie Garcia, Carvana founder and CEO. “We’ve examined the data from more than 244,000 purchases last year, showing some remarkable trends in online car buying and how we’re positioned for more and more consumers choosing to buy their next car online.”
Some of the highlights from Carvana’s data include an uptick in EV adoption, but the analysis also covered last year’s most popular purchases. Those included the Ford F-150, which was the site’s third most purchased vehicle behind the Honda Civic and Chevrolet Equinox. Ford was also Carvana’s second-most purchased brand in 2020, behind only Chevrolet.
Interestingly, however, pickups only accounted for five percent of Carvana’s 2020 sales, as they ranked fifth behind SUVs, sedans, wagons, and hatchbacks. Altogether, Carvana became the second-largest auto retailer in the U.S. in 2020, despite only operating 27 vending machines serving 266 markets.
Meanwhile, Ford recently launched Blue Advantage, the automaker’s online marketplace for certified used Ford vehicles powered by AutoTrader. As Ford Authority explained last year, the platform is designed to help dealers better compete against competitors like CarMax by offering many of the same benefits including guaranteed pricing, home delivery, and a vehicle return policy.