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May, 2021

Used-Vehicle Demand is Surging

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Used-Vehicle Demand is Surging

A worsening chip shortage and corresponding production drop are expected to result in ~4 million fewer vehicles available for purchase (5% of estimated sales).
 
And new vehicles are increasingly less affordable for consumers. The New-vehicle affordability declined in April after 5 months of improvement (Cox Automotive Vehicle Affordability Index) — affordability is worse now vs. pre-pandemic.
 
LikeFolio data reveals an interesting shift in Used vs. New Vehicle purchases. Used Vehicle demand has increased +24% YoY.
In the same time frame, New Car Purchases have decreased more than -20%.
 
Consumers talking about recently purchasing a used vehicle most often talked about visiting a dealership, and a large number discussed the rising price of a vehicle.
 
We took a look at the used vehicle market to see how major players are performing…and we were surprised. 
Previously, we’ve touted Carvana’s explosive growth, and even noted a significant take of KMX market share. 
 
Now, we’re watching near-term strength from CarMax as its hybrid vehicle sales model gains traction with consumers. 
 
CarMax’s 22Q1 ends in a few days (May 31), and the quarter is setting up strong. Purchase Intent mentions are currently pacing +41% YoY, and sentiment has increased by 3 points in the same time frame. 
 
We’ll continue watching demand through Summer to see how rising vehicle prices impact purchases completed, but it’s clear CarMax is gaining momentum.

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