CarGurus will soon launch the second phase of a tool to acquire used vehicles from customers, after the first phase — done in conjunction with Carvana — led to dealer backlash.
While it wasn't clear at press time when the new phase will start, the last one appeared to have ended March 5.
That's about when Dan Sayer, vice president for digital at Nebraska-based Anderson Auto Group, got an email from CarGurus telling him it has pulled a tool that generates instant cash offers to customers for their vehicles from its website. For weeks be- fore it had been removed, Sayer, like others at dealerships, was nonplussed at the way the feature worked.
"Initially I was in a little bit of disbelief that Carvana was coming up," he said.
The button on the website led to a form that asked for basic vehicle information, then returned an instant cash offer, which dealers said came exclusively from Carvana. On March 4 and 5, when Automotive News tested the feature with at least five VINs, each turned up an offer from Carvana. Clicking another button would send users to Carvana's website, and users could click to receive email updates from the digital retailer.
On Monday, March 9, CarGurus announced on its website that it had ended that phase of the test. "As a result of your feedback, we've removed Carvana from all of our cash offers testing," the company said. "The next phase of cash offers testing will be with a broader set of dealers."