21 Jun, 2024

Carvana Starts the Slow Climb Back Up to Recovery

From the March/April 2024 issue of Car and Driver.

Ernest “Ernie” Garcia III had a dream. Armed with a degree from Stanford and a $100 million investment courtesy of his father, Ernest Garcia II—the billionaire behind DriveTime, a major used-car dealership chain—­Garcia III was uniquely well situated to give his audacious vision a shot. In 2012, he cofounded Carvana, an e-commerce platform for selling used cars. He hoped one day it would become the Amazon of secondhand-car sales, an online operation where you might buy a pre-owned vehicle with no in-store visit, hard sell, or haggling and have the new-to-you car or truck delivered to your home. Though supportive—Carvana began as a subsidiary of Drive­Time before being spun off—Garcia the Elder was skeptical, according to his son, and, for years, he was not alone.

“Probably a different company would swing at [this idea] every couple of years ­until someone eventually cracked the nut. U­ntil that happened, there would just be failures, and ­people would probably think, ‘Oh, see, it doesn’t work,’ ” Garcia III, Carvana’s CEO, explains to Car and Driver. “When the reality was, it was just really hard to build something that was good enough to where

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