General Motors on Wednesday announced an online used-car sales platform called CarBravo. Scheduled to launch this spring, GM says it will deliver a transparent and streamlined shopping experience.
According to the company’s press release, Carbravo will pull from dealership inventory and a “National Central Stock” of used vehicles that will include non-GM models. According to the automaker, all vehicles will be “inspected and repaired to meet standards set by GM,” and will receive some form of warranty coverage. SiriusXM satellite radio and OnStar telematics trials will also be available in applicable vehicles.
Customers will be able to access 360-degree views and vehicle history reports through a dedicated website and receive price quotes from dealerships (and GM Financing, where applicable), which will still be able to track actual prices of cars sold through CarBravo. Will handle sales and servicing.
CarBravo will also offer at-home test drives and home delivery in participating dealership areas. GM said customers will be able to sell their cars through the platform, even if they don’t buy a car through CarBravo, while receiving guaranteed online offers based on the auto-industry Black & Blue.
While most automakers operate so-called certified pre-ownership (CPO) programs for used cars, this is the first major attempt by an automaker to sell used cars through a corporate channel. The dealership’s involvement in GM’s sales and servicing is required to evade state franchise laws, as Tesla has done with its direct-sales business model.
Supply-chain issues tightened the supply of new cars in 2021, causing the prices of older cars to skyrocket. That might explain why GM is taking this unusual move, and it’s worth noting that much of the foundation for CarBravo was laid by the Shopify Click Drive service that GM began offering in 2020 in response to the pandemic.
GM has experimented with a number of other new businesses in recent years, including the now defunct Maven Mobility brand. Maven offered carsharing services in some cities, so-called peer-to-peer carsharing that allowed GM owners to rent their cars to other people, as well as low-cost fares to rideshare drivers, but with many cutbacks. The latter was closed in 2020. , Will Carbravo be more successful?