Carvana has expanded into two more markets.
The online-focused used-car group now operates in Oklahoma City, Okla., and Louisville, Ky. These are Carvana’s first forays into these two states.
Carvana now has locations in 31 markets.
Carvana has expanded into two more markets.
- Secretary of State Tells Dealer Group “You’re the Good Guys” in Spotlight
Michigan State Police and the Secretary of the State continue to go after crooked automobile dealers and repair shops with the support of industry groups.
Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson recently updated The Michigan Independent Automobile Dealers Association on the work during an industry event.
He praised the Michigan IADA dealers for being examples of how auto dealerships should operate.
“You’re the good guys,” she said to Michigan IADA members. “You’re the guys who get a bad reputation when you have other people out there cheating and doing fraudulent things.”
Johnson said that issues with washed titles, unlicensed dealers and insurance fraud became too much of a problem so she created thee Office of Investigative Services in 2015. She tapped Darryl Hill, a 26-year veteran from the Michigan State Police, to lead the unit.
“We told him, ‘Go after the bad guys,’” Johnson said. “Because how can good guys ever compete with bad guys?”
Since then, the police have obtained nearly 350 warrants against unlicensed repair shops and fraudulent dealers.
The unit has shut down 62 illegitimate car dealerships and 48 repair shops.
For example, a Genesee County dealer was arrested for allegedly forging a police officer’s signature on vehicle inspection documents. In another case, A Sylvan Lake dealer was arrested on charges of forging more than 300 U.S. Customs and Border Protection documents.
Two Alpena dealerships were suspended for failing to provide records and maintaining properly assigned titles. They also had VIN numbers concealed or removed.
Johnson urged dealers to contact the Secretary of State if they are aware of any fraud going on.
Other issues are on the table as well.
“Fighting back against title fraud is at the top of my list,” Johnson said. “The crime costs $11. 3 billion every year in the United States.”
Johnson said the state is using both technology and legislation to fight back. A new system, called Customer and Automotive Records System (CARS), combines Michigan’s millions of driver and vehicle records into one system.
An electronic lien and title system is also in the works.
“I know how hard it hits people when someone sells a car fraudulently with a washed title,” she said.
Johnson said drivers with no car insurance remain a big problem.
A study showed that 39 percent of drivers in the state are driving without valid insurance. One out of 10 is likely to have fraudulent insurance.
“We had some guy out in the parking lot once with his laptop and a printer,” Johnson said. “People were paying him through the window and he was printing sheets off saying they were insured.
“If it sounds too good to be true, then it is.”
Johnson said the state is fighting back with insurance information it shares with law enforcement and shutting down bogus insurance providers.
“Since 2015, we’ve reviewed 1.3 million policies that were unable to be verified,” she said.
- CarMax Expands in Northwest in News Now
CarMax Inc. celebrated the grand opening of the company’s third store in the Seattle market.
The store is located at 3751 E. Valley Rd. in Renton and has the capacity to stock approximately 300 used vehicles.
In celebration of the Renton store grand opening, CarMax and The CarMax Foundation awarded $15,000 in donations and grants to the Boys & Girls Clubs of King County. Support for this organization came at the recommendation of the Renton CarMax associates.
CarMax will also be donating an Imagination Playground valued at more than $15,000 to the South Park Community Center, through its partnership with Kaboom to make play more accessible to children and families.
- Shoppers Set to Spend on Cars in News Now
After a relatively light post-summer dip, total traffic to dealership websites is once again on the rise, growing by 3 percent in October from September.
That is the main finding from Dealer.com’s November Dealer DataView index, which captures year-to-date data through Oct. 31. The index showed that vehicle detail page (VDP) views, a strong indicator of sales intent, also rose by 2 percent last month.
Taken together, these trends suggest a relatively robust selling climate this fall, as dealers gear up for a Black Friday and Cyber Monday jump in activity. However, insights from last year regarding credit application volume – a leading indicator of purchase intent – suggest that dealers have a compelling reason to prioritize Black Friday over the rest of the holiday weekend.
Dealertrack data from 2016 revealed a nearly 40 percent rise in credit applications on Black Friday compared to other Fridays in that month, while Cyber Monday registered only a 2.6 percent growth over other Mondays in November.
The November DataView index confirms that engagement trends remained remarkably consistent with 2017's overall pattern of increased mobile traffic and SUV popularity. Mobile traffic is holding steady month over month, accounting for 57 percent of total visits in October. SUVs remained the most popular body style at 35 percent of all VDP views.
Search advertising cost-per-click (CPC), another bellwether for demand, climbed for the third consecutive month and is now averaging $3.51 nationally, with a fairly wide regional spread. The East South Central region registered the lowest CPC at $2.96, while the Mid-Atlantic region commanded a CPC rate of $3.81. Advertising decision-makers may once again need to adjust their budget to account for this continuing upward trend.