So you’re in the market for a hybrid or electric vehicle. Naturally, you begin shopping around, perhaps even heading to your neighborhood dealership to speak with a knowledgeable salesperson about fuel-efficient options on their lot. Then suddenly, almost as soon as your search begins, it reaches a dead end. The salesperson you’re speaking with is showing you a gas-powered vehicle you’re not interested in and you’re politely nodding your head, simultaneously wondering if the dealership associate simply misheard you or is covertly attempting to direct you towards a different purchase.
Sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone.
To commemorate Earth Day and Carvana’s #NewWayToEarthDay campaign, we’re shedding light on a puzzling, yet frequent stalemate that occurs between car buyers and car dealers when it comes to sales of fuel-efficient vehicles. According to a 2015 article by the New York Times, car buying customers who are in the market for hybrid or electric vehicles often times meet resistance from “unenthusiastic” car dealers who may be more concerned with their bottom line instead of selling a car that meets customer desires.
The reason? Many industry insiders in the New York Times piece contend that hybrid and electric vehicles don’t offer dealers the comparative profits of gas-powered cars, as full-efficient vehicles often take more time to sell because of the “explaining required,” which in turn negatively impacts the number of sales and commissions at the dealership. The article also notes that hybrids and electric vehicles may require less maintenance, effectively reducing business for dealer service departments – a central source of dealer profits.
At the end of the day, it all adds up to a sour car buying experience for you; creating further disconnect between customers and dealers and adding greater discontent to what is already associated with the traditional vehicle purchase process. However, this is where Carvana offers another solution to the traditional car buying song and dance.
Of the over 57,000 vehicles Carvana sold dating back to April of last year, roughly six percent were hybrid or electric vehicles. For comparison, Carvana’s six percent figure is roughly two times higher than the national market average for hybrids and electric vehicles sold in 2017, according to Edmunds. In fact, of that six percent, approximately 16.5 percent of those sales were specifically electric/plug-in vehicles. Numbers like that suggest a thriving and accessible market exists for those in search of fuel-efficient vehicles; a notion that has evidently struggled to gain traction at the dealership.
So why are we selling so many hybrids and electric vehicles? Apart from making it our primary goal to completely overhaul and streamline the car buying process from A to Z, allowing you to skip the dealership experience altogether, our interests align with yours. By eliminating a trip to the dealership and the wrangling that occurs with a salesperson, Carvana’s cost structure for the consumer doesn’t mean we have to play mark-up games or massage you in the direction of another car to make our margins. You are truly the director of your own car buying experience!
With over 700 hybrid and electric vehicles currently in our inventory (and counting!) as of the publish date of this article, Carvana offers not only an easier and more transparent way to buy a car, but one that is both progressive and uniquely driven by customer demand.