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Car Buying Is Undergoing A Digital Revolution

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How we buy and sell average cars is changing dramatically and rapidly, and e-commerce is coming for luxury and supercars next.

Through the year’s first half, 2022 has been somewhat of a roller coaster ride for financial markets and investors. The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened the year at an all-time high with a volume tickling 37k on January 4, but plummeted to under 30k by mid-June. The market has been on the upswing since that point, but one trend has stayed steady throughout the year: Used car sellers, especially those with robust e-commerce platforms, are poised to make investors a ton of cash.

At the same time, global trends are driving a more diverse interest in high-end vehicles than ever. Electric vehicle volumes continue to skyrocket, with interest in used EV sales closely following. Even America’s newfound appreciation for motorsport, from F1 to Formula E, is propelling curiosity about high-performance machinery. With its unique access to these top-tier vehicle segments, inventories, and owners, duPont Registry is set to make a splash at the very pinnacle of this untapped market, here’s how.

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Let’s start with a discussion of market segments and their relative sizes. The chart above aggregates data from government and private sources and helps to tell an impressive story about the opportunity around used auto sales. In 2019, for instance, the used car market was massively bigger than the new car market, with a delta of over $200 billion.

Critically, that gigantic market is almost entirely untapped, as well. E-commerce solutions exist in so many sectors of our day-to-day lives that they’re easy to take for granted – downloads or streams vs. CDs or records, Amazon vs. going to the mall, food delivery apps vs. calling for takeout… and the list goes on. But, with a few promising exceptions, getting a used car into the driveway of a prospective owner is still largely handled in a traditional fashion. Less than one percent of the used auto segment was transacted via e-commerce. Clearly, this is a model that’s ripe for disruption.

Ditching Dealerships With Digital

Ask anyone in the market for a car (especially a used car) what they dislike about the purchasing process and you’ll be met with an overwhelming chorus of “going to the dealer” in some form or fashion. A 2016 report by Dealer Socket indicated that 81 percent of customers “do not enjoy” the dealer car buying process.

So used car retailers have never been a dream destination for American consumers. What’s more, with the advent of click-to-buy technology in so many other realms of our lives, the fact that you can’t easily purchase a car with your phone or laptop is inherently frustrating.

Companies that are becoming household names like Carvana and Vroom were founded with that idea in mind. Making the car-buying process easy and as close to contactless as possible seemed to be not only desirable, but inevitable. Following the investment that supports that idea over the last decade is an interesting proof point.

For those watching the space closely, Carvana’s (founded in 2012) stock price has been a fascinating lesson in hype vs sustainable value. The company’s initial public offering kicked off in 2017 with the stock building momentum from the mid-teens to the mid-thirties in its first year of trading.

The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, changed Carvana’s outlook dramatically. With so many Americans suddenly forced into remote working environments, e-commerce plays suddenly transitioned from theoretical values to sure-fire propositions. For Carvana, that meant surging sales as a result of its socially distanced business model – nearly a half million units sold in 2021 – supercharging the company’s current market cap to an eye-watering $9.6 billion.

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Room At The Top

This very large and, frankly inefficient, used car market has perhaps its biggest opportunity at the top. The selling of luxury and exotic vehicles can be a tremendously profitable business, but it’s also a lot more complicated than selling $25,000 SUVs and pickups – just ask the folks at duPont Registry.

The duPont Registry brand is synonymous with exotic, luxury, and classic cars; having been around since 1985, dR is one of the most trusted brands in the world in this segment. That trust is really critical, for both buyers and sellers, when very large sums of money and incredibly specific vehicles are trading hands. Critically, the duPont team has also established tremendous digital reach, with millions of social media followers feeding into its online footprint.

In exactly the same way that Carvana, Vroom, et all are just beginning to unlock the value of the used car market by way of digital tools, duPont Registery has a fully online experience to cater to the needs of high-end car buyers, all over the world. The dR marketplaces offers 24/7 access to a frictionless marketplace, with the advantage of a white-glove, concierge service that customers in this rarified space expect. Tens of thousands of supercar listings make for an entertaining shopping experience, too.

And it’s not just about the cars. Thanks to its extensive, 100k+ strong database of private sellers and supercar owners, duPont Registry has the ability to derive data-driven insights that help more people connect with their dream cars, more easily.

Ultimately, the used autos space won’t be able to rely on its largely traditional selling models for long. The digitalization of our daily commercial lives, the ubiquity of buying stuff on one’s smartphone, and the general reluctance of people to deal with the dealership model are all forcing massive, and positive change. Be it an Accord or an Aventador, companies like Carvana and duPont Registry are ensuring your next vehicle is purchased from the comfort of your couch.




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