DETROIT — General Motors this spring will launch CarBravo, a shopping platform designed to boost used-vehicle sales through GM dealerships, the automaker said Tuesday.
“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,” Steve Carlisle, president of GM North America, said in a statement. “CarBravo is designed to provide customers the convenience to shop how they want, where they want — online, at the dealership or both.”
The used-vehicle market has been growing over the past five years and is less susceptible to market fluctuations than the new-vehicle market, Carlisle said. With CarBravo, GM aims to increase used-vehicle volume as companies such as Carvana and CarMax Inc. absorb used-vehicle share. The announcement comes about a year after Ford Motor Co. started a used-vehicle platform called Ford Blue Advantage.
Dealers’ used-vehicle business has become vitally important over the past year as the global microchip shortage disrupted new-vehicle production.
Carvana and other digital used-vehicle platforms “gave us an opportunity to to learn a lot,” Carlisle told reporters Tuesday. “CarBravo would be more than competitive.”
Chevrolet, Buick and GMC dealers can enroll immediately, and the consumer launch is expected to begin this spring, GM said. Cadillac is developing a separate program, Carlisle said.
The platform will list GM and non-GM vehicles from dealership lots across the country and off-lease vehicles owned by GM Financial. Today, GM dealers have about 400,000 used cars in their inventory, and GM sells more than 500,000 GM Financial-owned vehicles annually.
Eligible vehicles will come with trials of OnStar and SiriusXM radio. GM hopes that broader access to its in-vehicle features will increase subscriptions, Carlisle said.
CarBravo will be backed by GM’s digital retail platform and include clear pricing, vehicle history reports and 360-degree views of the vehicle. The vehicles will be inspected and reconditioned to GM’s standards.
Each vehicle comes with a warranty. Some buyers receive roadside service and courtesy transportation as well.
Customers can request at-home test drives and home delivery, depending on availability at participating dealers.
Todd Ingersoll, dealer principal of Ingersoll Auto of Danbury in Connecticut, who piloted CarBravo, said dealers have worked with GM on the platform over the past 18 months.
“I can’t overemphasize the importance of used vehicles to our dealership operations and profitability. At the end of the day, the most successful new-car dealers have great used-car operations,” he told reporters.
“Collectively, any time you can pool your inventory and increase the amount of organic searches that you have, that naturally is going to bring in more Internet leads and drive more business to our channel,” he said. “And that’s ultimately what we’re trying to do: increase the business and keep the cars in our family.”
Ford dealers have said Ford Blue Advantage increased their used-vehicle sales and provided an additional revenue stream as the chip shortage slows new-vehicle production.