By on January 12, 2022

Seeking to capitalize on a red-hot used vehicle market, General Motors has said it will launch an online service called CarBravo. Intended to challenge the likes of Carvana and CarMax by offering customers access to a large inventory of machines in stock at GM dealers across the country.

Using what marketers are calling a digital retail platform (read: Website), the shopping interface is said to feature clear dealer pricing and 360-degree views of the vehicle plus condition reports and the like. According to the company, all CarBravo vehicles will be inspected and reconditioned to meet standards set by GM. If this sounds a lot like the Certified Pre-Owned program, you’re not wrong. It’s worth noting customers can presently search nationwide for CPO vehicles, as well.

One of the differences? Those machines held by GM Financial, such as fresh off-lease machines which can command a decent dollar compared to their projected residuals, which would have been set two or three years ago before the current market conditions. Dealers who enroll themselves in the program can list other types of used vehicles from other brands, assuming they meet the CarBravo minimum recon standards. To be clear, the site will largely facilitate sales to dealers; don’t expect the front lawn of RenCen to be transformed into a used car lot.

“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.”

How – or even if – this will affect CPO activity is uncertain, since there’s nothing to say that CPO vehicles can’t be advertised on this CarBravo outlet. In theory, a CPO car should fit all the qualifications for sale with GM’s new website. The variable, as always, will be the dealers. Since it seems they’ll be able to set their own prices for listings, the success or failure of this product is not totally in control of the suits at RenCen. At least the CarBravo requirement of ’360-degree views’ should take care of a perpetual problem some dealers have with being able to upload sensible pictures of their stock. In theory, anyway. And if it adds a bit of market competition to companies like Carvana and Vroom, so much the better. GM also has its eyes on making money through adjacent revenue like OnStar and satellite radio.

We’ll take over/under estimates in the comments on how long this project will occupy the frontal cortex of GM before attention is turned to other matters. A launch for CarBravo is planned prior to this summer.

[Images: GM]

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8 Comments on “Second-Hand News: GM Investigates the Used Car Biz...”

  • avatar

    Didn’t Ford launch it’s used car website last year, in partnership with I’ve used it and it’s very functional for finding a certified Ford.

  • avatar

    As someone who buys a lot of cars, one thing I’d love to see is advanced filtering for used cars. I’d want to, say, run a search for pre-owned Cadillac CT6 Sport units that were equipped the Active Chassis Package, Audio System Package (BOSE Panaray) and Rear Seat Package. It’s hard to do that with the mainstream sites, but one sponsored and run by the automaker itself would have all that data just from decoding the VIN. If GM does this, that would be an excellent feature to incorporate. It would be much simpler than poring over interior pictures for specific buttons, materials or telltales for certain configuration options.

    Tesla does this with their used-car program, but then, their cars have precious few options and I wouldn’t buy a Tesla, anyway.

  • avatar

    “Those machines held by GM Financial”

    Sounds like GMAC is back (it became Ally IIRC)!

  • avatar

    Ford was selling used Fords for ages as CPO. But 1000 point inspection is a moot point, including Carvana. No one ever inspects used cars because it is too hard and it takes time. Detailing is much easier.

  • avatar

    “Hey, everyone else is doing it, we should, too!”
    If it isn’t somehow significantly better than the established online car marts, then it’s going to be another GM failure.

    (A hint to GM: if you really want to succeed, offer lots of cars from other carmakers, such as Toyota, Lincoln, Jeep, Lexus, Ford, Honda, Hyundai…)

  • avatar

    if they quit screwing around in areas that they have no business in or how to operate, maybe they could focus on properly running the supply chain. it didn’t work last time, and won’t this time either. quit tryin g to be involved in retail, leave dealers the hell alone, and maybe avoid another bankruptcy

  • avatar

    I would like a filter on GVWR or hauling/towing capacity… trying to figure out what a truck can tow requires super sleuth skills with the current feature filters on most websites.

    Shopping websites are wearing out the “up to [some figure]”*

    *when properly equipped

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