Major Shifts in the Used-Car Market and What They Mean for Retailers Looking to Compete

Used Car Market

Widespread supply-chain challenges and other factors impacting the automotive industry are causing major shifts in the used-car market. Over the last few months, a shortage of critical vehicle parts prevented car manufacturers from producing enough new-car inventory to meet consumer demand, the used car market has seen demand skyrocket and prices increase to record levels. In fact, used cars are so in-demand at the moment that there are now projections the used-car market will surpass a value of $2 trillion in the US by 2028. 

Working to carve out competitive advantages in the used-car space, auto manufacturers and retailers alike have been making significant moves to expand their used-vehicle sales opportunities. Recently, General Motors (GM) announced it will be launching its own used-car sales website called CarBravo. On this platform, the company can sell GM, GM Financial and dealer-owned used vehicles directly to customers. Some auto manufacturers like Honda and Acura are even expanding the eligibility of their certified pre-owned (CPO) programs to 10 years with the goal of further appealing to used-car shoppers. 

Beyond these moves, some ecommerce players are making inventory-and-logistics plays with unlikely partnerships and mergers to get more access to inventory, be closer to customers and shorten their time to market. In fact, earlier this year, one of the biggest industry headlines came from Carvana when it announced it was acquiring wholesale vehicle-auction company ADESA to help expand its platform and capabilities. This decision by Carvana will allow the company to ship vehicles even more quickly and efficiently, while also expanding its customer base in the process. The move will also likely help Carvana with third-party reconditioning services and reduce the turnover times typically associated with this work. 


In addition to these recent unprecedented moves, many car manufacturers, retailers and other automotive-industry players are shifting their business models to encompass more than just straightforward used-vehicle sales. Many are working to establish more of a digital-platform focus that entails sales, customer vehicle acquisition, home-delivery options and other vehicle services, positioning themselves to attract a wider customer base – including those that are located out-of-state – as well as to offer customers a wider array of service options. 


All of these recent moves have implications for automotive retailers looking to stay relevant and competitive in the quickly evolving used-vehicle space. 


What These Moves Mean for Retailers Looking to Compete 

At this time, with so many companies taking major steps to expand their used-car platforms and capabilities, retailers must stay relevant and be well-positioned to compete. Recent disruptions in the automotive space have created changes in consumer behavior, giving rise to a demand for digital retailing and home-delivery options. Many retailers are now looking for ways to improve their overall logistics, so they can meet consumers where they’re at and keep up with this demand. 

Those retailers who invest in and build out digital platforms can not only exceed their customers’ expectations more effectively, but they can also gain an additional benefit of broadening the market area in which they sell and acquire vehicles. 

To execute more out-of-state sales, retailers must have access to reliable vehicle logistics with the ability to ship vehicles quickly, securely and efficiently to and from anywhere in the country. By partnering with a logistics provider that has wide-reaching capacity, a large carrier-and-driver network and vehicle-shipping expertise, retailers can lean on this partner when picking up newly acquired used-car inventory, transporting vehicles to one of their lots or another dealership site and delivering purchases to customers’ homes. 

Having access to reconditioning services is also critical for retailers hoping to acquire, transport and turn over used vehicles in a timely fashion – particularly, if those vehicles are going straight from an acquisition site to the customer’s door. While many retailers cover reconditioning, detailing and repairs in-house for most of their used-vehicle inventory, there are opportunities for retailers to further streamline inventory flow and speed up the timeline by removing an extra stop along the transport route. Regardless of which method they employ, retailers must be able to move quickly, ensure vehicles are in top condition and keep their operations moving. 

With home-delivery logistics comes the ability to handle out-of-state sales – ensuring retailers can expand the area in which they buy and sell vehicles. If and when retailers deliver vehicles to customers’ homes, there is an opportunity for the retailers to deliver an experience that will meet customers’ expectations and demand for front-door service. 

Establishing a home-delivery strategy not only ensures retailers can deliver fully ready-to-drive vehicles, but also paves the way for out-of-state sales. To deliver road-ready vehicles, retailers can pull in other vehicle services for their customers, as well. Depending on the logistics provider they’re working with and the services they employ, retailers have the opportunity to power up their platform by expanding their offerings to include title-and-registration services, remote trade-ins and more. Retailers can take the burden off out-of-state customers when it comes to figuring out title-and-registration needs, completing all this work in advance of the vehicle being dropped off at the customer’s door. 

How the Team at ACERTUS Can Help 

While many automotive players are making major moves in the used-vehicle space, ACERTUS can help retailers compete in this unprecedented market by blending its technology, infrastructure, people and experience to create an intelligent approach to logistics. Retailers that partner with ACERTUS gain: 

  • – Visibility: ACERTUS’ technology platform VINlocity provides retailers with visibility into every aspect of the vehicle’s journey, while also employing data-driven learning and analytics to improve their business performance.  

  • Speed: With well-positioned infrastructure, proprietary technology and expert service, ACERTUS establishes speed to market for retailers and gives them the ability to flex on demand. 

  • A Full Suite of Services: ACERTUS has created the only completely comprehensive approach to automotive logistics with the ability to move, store, recondition, title and deliver vehicles anywhere in the country. 

ACERTUS provides the fastest and most efficient and cost-effective transport options, utilizing different modes as they make the most sense for each respective business and route. 

With the largest carrier and driver network in the country, ACERTUS’ car-haul service offering delivers access to capacity and scalability. As business needs and consumer demand all fluctuate, ACERTUS’ carriers can accommodate these needs, ensuring retailers can scale up or down on demand.  

In addition, ACERTUS’ drive-away service allows for high-touch customization, pulling from a well-trained and professional network of more than 1,000 drivers throughout North America – which gives retailers the ability to move vehicles to any location, from any location. 

Through a home-delivery service, ACERTUS removes geographic boundaries for retailers, leveling the playing field so every retailer can be national, provide home delivery and compete with major players in this space. ACERTUS’ team also offers branded, white-glove service, ensuring retailers can offer their customers’ an excellent home-delivery experience. ACERTUS removes geographic boundaries for retailers, leveling the playing field so every retailer can be national, provide home delivery and compete with major players in this space. ACERTUS’ team also offers branded, white-glove service, ensuring retailers can offer their customers an excellent home-delivery experience. 

Beyond all this, while vehicles are en route, ACERTUS’ team can assist with reconditioning, including detailing, oil changes, body work and more. To ensure vehicles are made fully ready-to-drive before their final delivery, and to allow retailers to acquire and sell vehicles anywhere across the country, ACERTUS can cover, process and manage title-and-registration services on vehicles. The expert title-and-registration team knows how to navigate different state rules, regulations and requirements, so customers can skip the DMV and retailers can complete used-vehicle acquisitions and sales, regardless of the state or locality. 

ACERTUS offers a proven, complete and start-to-finish service driven by a transformative combination of technology, people and experience. Working as a strategic logistics partner, ACERTUS helps automotive retailers transform their logistics into a competitive advantage. 

Learn more about ACERTUS’ full range of shipping and vehicle logistics solutions at To connect with one of our team members or receive a quote, contact us here or call us at: 855-ACERTUS (855-223-7887). 

Leave a Reply