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Comparative Analysis of US Vehicle Listings Platforms

Ales Filipi, Assaph Aharoni, Sumit Banerjee
June 22, 2020
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Millions of new and used passenger vehicles and light trucks are sold in the United States each month. The vast majority are sold by car dealerships.

Vehicle inventory listing platforms facilitate the process of matching potential car buyers with sellers. These platforms, which appeared shortly after the emergence of the internet, serve as one of the largest sources of car shoppers and buyers. In "Comparative Analysis of US Vehicle Listings Platforms," Partner Ales Filipi, Manager Assaph Aharoni, and Senior Consultant Sumit Banerjee analyze three listing platforms: Autotrader, CarGurus, and Cars.com. They use US data to examine vehicle inventory; each platform’s success in attracting dealers; deal ratings the platforms offer; inventory turnover, which is an indication of both vehicle sales and dealership profitability; and average days vehicles are on the market with dealers using these platforms.

The figure shows the results of one of the first analyses—the share of total inventory listed on each platform.

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