Revving Up Sales: 5 Key Trends Powering the Used Car Market in 2024

The automobile commerce landscape is changing swiftly as a new car sales trend emerges. A recent study shows 63% of automotive consumers may consider buying used cars online in the next five years (Phyron). This trend is underscored by data indicating that almost 30% of U.S. new car sales happened online last year, showcasing a major shift away from traditional dealerships (ABC News).

Manufacturers such as Mercedes-Benz are embracing this change, expecting online sales to make up a quarter of their sales soon. The movement calls for dealerships to enhance customer experience with emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain (EisnerAmper).

CarMax has responded by expanding their tech capabilities, reflecting the industry's pivot (CarMax Investors). The message is clear: to stay competitive, even small businesses in car retail must integrate digital strategies.

Automotive industry performance remains strong. Truck and SUV sales rose by 13.4%, and passenger cars followed with an 8.2% increase (Marklines). CarMax maintains a 14% share of the used car market, despite the growth of online car sales (UConn School of Business).

The U.S. online car dealership market was valued at $43.1 billion in 2021 (Statista). The global market for online car sales could reach USD 722 billion by 2030 (GlobeNewswire).

Auto retailers and manufacturers must focus on customer demands. A significant portion of buyers now prefers an online purchasing process, valuing transparency and the ability to guide themselves when buying a car (Cox Automotive). Offering both digital and traditional options, like test drives and vehicle inspections, is essential for the future of online car sales.


Customer Experience as a Vehicle for Growth

Customer experience (CX) is taking precedence over price in the usa car market. According to a Phyron survey, 64% of auto consumers choose CX over cost during online purchases. This shift in car sale trends shows a decline in brand loyalty and a rise in the value of service quality.

  • Only 8% of consumers are loyal to a specific brand.
  • More than 57% opt for brands known for superior CX.

Trend auto sales require retailers to focus on consumer priorities:

  1. Low fuel consumption and safety: These are top considerations for 56% and 55% of consumers, respectively, more so than low pricing (Way).

Small businesses in the automotive sector need to adjust to these customer preferences. Investment areas include:

  • Vehicle Quality: Emphasizing a vehicle's longevity and craftsmanship.
  • Vehicle Reliability: This goes hand in hand with vehicle quality.
  • Cost of Owning the Vehicle: Buyers consider this a significant factor (Credit Acceptance).

Changes within the industry due to the autonomous revolution are evident:

  • CX represents a customer's perception of a brand throughout their buying journey (Zykrr LinkedIn).
  • Online car platforms like and Carvana excel in providing a superior CX (MarketWatch).

Consumer Expectations:

  • Resale value and comfort features are factors in purchase decisions.
  • Personalized service is increasingly important (Brainly).
  • As cost becomes a smaller concern, preferences shift towards energy-efficient and luxury vehicles (Chegg).

Investing in CX is essential for growth and influencing customer decisions (Zendesk). Retailers are aware that CX is key in building customer loyalty and increasing sales (Lumoa).

To remain competitive in the usa car market, dealerships should match their strategies with consumer preferences. Those that provide an outstanding CX can lead the market (Accenture).

Parts and services often generate the most profit for dealerships (Spyne). Even a small increase in customer retention can lead to a profit boost of 25-95% (SmallBizTrends). This statistic underlines the importance of exceptional CX for dealerships looking to succeed in a dynamic automotive market.

AI and Automation: Revolutionizing Car Sales

CarMax Technology is leading the charge in AI governance, shaping the future of car sales with strategic technology adoption. The AI governance team at CarMax is dedicated to delivering optimized business outcomes. They accomplish this by incorporating AI and automating across their operations, while also tackling the associated risks (Deloitte Insights on CarMax's Digital Transformation).

The integration of AI-driven tools like UVeye's automated inspection systems is transforming vehicle assessment in the wholesale market. CarMax is pioneering these AI enhancements (CarMax and UVeye Partnership). Key AI technologies now in use include:

CarMax's use of the OpenAI API has increased their online presence, inventory, and sales. This showcases AI's transformative impact (CarMax's Use of OpenAI API).

AI also plays a role in data analytics at CarMax. The technology provides personalized recommendations that align with customer behavior, driving history, and location. These insights are key in engaging with customers effectively (CarMax Data Analytics).

Addressing AI risks is a cornerstone of AI governance. Ensuring consumer privacy, reducing bias, and bolstering system security are central objectives (AI Governance Risks; Mitigating AI Risks).

AI governance extends to the financial sector. It improves data sets for risk detection and aids in regulatory compliance understanding (AI Governance in Financial Services). Performing regular testing and monitoring is essential for managing AI security risks (AI Risk Addressing).

CarMax remains competitive against peers like Asbury Automotive Group and Lithia Motors. Its focus on technology differentiates it in the marketplace (CarMax Competitors). CarMax underscores the significance of continuous innovation and cultivating a tech-savvy team for sustained market leadership.

The impact of AI on the automotive industry includes improvements in safety and efficiency. CarMax's approach to technology underscores their commitment to innovation and excellence in a competitive field (AI's Impact on Auto Industry).


Online Presence and Marketing Strategies

In the rapidly changing world of car sales, dealerships are leveraging auto online sales for growth. The year 2024 has seen video marketing become crucial for digital showrooms. Dealerships have improved their online sales, adhering to a 10-step plan:

  1. Optimizing Website for Sales: Dealers enable easy browsing and access to information with minimal clicks on their websites.
  2. Implementing Video Presentations: Videos have been key, with 87% of marketers reporting increased sales due to video content (Dash.App).
  3. Enhancing Engagement with Live Chat: Chat services have been introduced, resulting in better lead conversion rates (RevNew).
  4. Targeting through Social Media: Facebook and Twitter are used for targeted advertising and increasing sales (Spyne).
  5. Analytics and Adaptation: Dealerships adjust their online tactics based on marketing data to maximize engagement.
  6. Cultivating a Strong Brand Image: A unique brand identity helps dealerships resonate with their digital audience.
  7. Utilizing AI and Automation: AI improves the personalization of the customer experience.
  8. Improving Digital Infrastructure: "CarMax Technology" reflects the commitment to digital excellence (CliffsNotes).
  9. Investing in Training and Development: Training ensures staff can use digital tools effectively, enhancing interactions with customers.
  10. Measuring Success: Dealerships monitor metrics like conversion rates to evaluate their digital strategies' effectiveness.

Dealerships host a variety of content, including tutorials and explainer videos. These are some of the most popular video content types (US Chamber of Commerce). Customers enjoy a comprehensive online car buying journey through these videos.

Dealerships focus on creating interactive online experiences and regularly review their performance metrics. With a strategic approach to auto online sales, they meet the preferences of the majority of US consumers who shop online (FitSmallBusiness). This strategy provides a competitive advantage in today's digital marketplace.


Classic and Collector Cars: A Niche Market on the Rise

Trends and Insights in the Classic Cars Market

The classic cars market is experiencing a resurgence, with predictions of significant growth over the next five years. This trend is driven by:

  • A sense of nostalgia
  • Increasing disposable income among car enthusiasts
  • Advances in technology that improve online visibility and market access

Despite this, the classic cars market faces challenges:

  • Dominance by major old vehicle dealers limits opportunities for new entrants
  • Start-ups are discouraged by high entry barriers

Strategic partnerships and niche developments are essential for small business owners looking to establish themselves in the classic cars sector.

As interest in classic cars grows, their significance goes beyond mere transportation. They become symbols of historical and artistic value. Engaging with the car and trend involves:

  • Understanding customer preferences
  • Building curated collections of classic cars
  • Embracing digital platforms to connect with automotive heritage enthusiasts globally

Classic Cars Market Insights

  • Market Growth: The U.S., as the largest contributor, produced $15 billion in 2020 with predictions suggesting a rise to $19 billion by 2024 (IAMagazine).
  • Future Challenges: Electric vehicle adoption poses a challenge, but classic cars are not facing banishment (Adrian Flux).
  • Investment Performance: From 2018-2023, classic cars averaged returns of 4.6% annually, as reported by Hagerty (Progressive).
  • Price Trends: Recent drops in average sale prices are viewed as market corrections, not an indication of a downturn (Hemmings).

Key Statistics

  • Popular Models: Notable classic cars include the 1969 Dodge Charger and Ford Mustang (AutoRacing1).
  • Enthusiast Regions: California, Indianapolis, and Scottsdale are known for their classic car communities (ClassicIns).
  • Technological Advances: The industry is integrating tech like gesture controls into vehicle design (TechDay).

Barriers to Entry in the Classic Car Dealers Market

Prospective classic car dealers must consider:

  1. The cost of advanced technology
  2. The influence of established suppliers
  3. The expenses related to differentiating their offerings

These barriers, combined with strict regulations, create a difficult environment for new dealers (Quora, Investopedia, Homework Study).


There is significant investment potential in the classic cars market, which boasts a dedicated following. However, entry into this market is not without its hurdles. Success hinges on an in-depth understanding of consumer interests, market inclinations, and the deployment of cutting-edge technologies. The classic cars market is expected to continue evolving, presenting both opportunities and challenges.


Preparing for the Future: Adaptation Strategies for Dealers

Adapting to the Digital Landscape in Second-Hand Car Sales

The second-hand car market is swiftly aligning itself with the latest auto buying trends to stay competitive. Transformation is continuous and requires full commitment, as highlighted by CarMax's philosophy of aligning with senior leadership and embracing change as an inherent part of business growth (source).

Strategies for Catering to the Modern Used Car Buyer

Dealers focusing on the used car market can thrive by:

  1. Embracing technology to cater to the growing segment of online car sales.
  2. Recruiting individuals with expertise in technology to keep up with innovative developments and efficient sales processes.
  3. Being aware of automotive industry digitization trends, such as self-driving features and improved maintenance prediction (source).
  4. Implementing digital tools that streamline production and reduce costs (source).
  5. Staying updated on emerging technologies like IoT (Internet of Things) and augmented reality that propel the industry forward (source).

Bridging the Tech Talent Gap in Auto Sales

Securing tech talent is crucial for dealers to synchronize their strategies with technological advances. The IT sector's skill gap poses a challenge, requiring proactive efforts to attract and keep the required experts (source).

Online Car Sales: A Look to the Future

  • Online car sales represent nearly 30% of new car sales in the U.S., showing a decisive move towards e-commerce (source).
  • In 2021, the U.S. online car dealer market was estimated at around USD 43.1 billion, verifying a robust online presence of car traders (source).
  • A reported 64% of customers want more online interactions in their future car purchases, indicating a shift in consumer preferences towards digital transactions (source).


Incorporating technology and securing skilled personnel are essential for building a future-proof business model in the car sales industry. Dealers must align with auto buying trends and present themselves effectively in the online car sales market to remain pertinent. Those who can balance technology and market needs will likely lead in the changing car sales domain.

Market Insights

  • The Automotive Products market is set to reach US$1.24tn by 2024, suggesting a continuing ascent (source).
  • The U.S. Used Car Market had a 2021 valuation of USD 195.84 billion, with expectations to climb to USD 302.47 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 7.51% (source).
  • Projections show that by 2025, electric engines will be in 25% of new cars sold, indicating an evolution in automotive technology (source).

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