Lithia Motors Inc. is expanding online efforts to source used vehicles directly from consumers, reducing reliance on trade-ins and saving on auction costs. It's all part of the public dealership group's strategy to procure the used vehicles most likely to yield the highest margins for its dealerships.
Leveraging new digital channels is a key focus of the strategy. In October, Lithia launched a "sell-from-home" option for customers, who input their vehicle details into a Lithia-owned website and receive an immediate offer for their vehicle. It is being piloted in one dealership in the Pittsburgh market, where Lithia operates its Baierl division.
The technology is part of a broader initiative intended to situate Lithia for a digital future, company executives say.
Smart sourcing of used- vehicle inventory is critical to the profitability of Lithia's used-vehicle operation, and its overall results, as margins shrink on new-vehicle sales.