Make Room, Carvana and CarMax. General Motors is delving deeper into the digital retail business of used cars with an upcoming initiative called CarBravo.
It will provide used car shoppers with access to a nationwide inventory and a multi-channel shopping experience on a digital retail platform called DRP.
“CarBravo will give customers more choice and access to shop in the greatly expanded inventory of both dealer and national central inventory of used GM vehicles,” says Steve Carlisle, GM executive vice president and president of GM North America.
Inventory is not limited to General Motors vehicles. That’s important, he says, because GM dealers sell many other types of pre-owned vehicles that were acquired as ancillary trade.
The automaker is currently recruiting Chevrolet, Buick and GMC dealers to participate. Cadillac will get its own similar program later.
A consumer launch as a rollout is expected in the spring.
Asked at a briefing how inspiring CarMax and Carvana – the national used car chains that rely heavily on digital gadgets – Carbravo and Carlisle (Pictured, on the left) “They gave us a chance to learn a lot,” he says.
The initiative aims to allow customers to shop how and wherever they want, “online, at the dealership or both,” says Carlisle.
GM says the new DRP will provide a simple and transparent shopping interface that features clear dealer pricing, vehicle history reports and 360-degree photos of the vehicles, which will be inspected and refurbished as necessary.
“Used vehicles are an important part of our business,” says Todd Ingersoll, principal dealer for Ingersoll Auto in Danbury, CT. His shop was involved in the CarBravo pilot.
At the media conference, he said all 3,800 Chevrolet, Buick and GMC dealerships are required to sign in.
“This allows us to standardize,” Ingersoll says. He talks about the powerful impact that national used car stocks will have on SEO and marketing.
“Google will increase our inventory,” he says. I can’t imagine no dealer participating. This will increase business and keep people in our family.”
Dan Ahern, director of pre-owned General Motors operations — which focuses largely on non-leased vehicles — expects CarBravo to generate additional growth. “Our dealers typically have 400,000 used cars on their plots,” says Ahern, also CarBravo’s manager. Then there’s what we have (in non-rental vehicles). It’s a huge selection to choose from.”
The program will offer standard warranty coverage on all vehicles, roadside service, free transportation, and OnStar and SiriusXM trials on vehicles with these connectivity capabilities.
Steve Finley is a retired senior editor at WardsAuto. It can be accessed at [email protected].