Carvana is a used car retailer that lets customers find, tour, buy and finance vehicles completely online. The company then delivers the vehicles straight to a customer’s home or allows them to pick up their purchase from one of Carvana’s 33 fully-automated car vending machines.
It’s a business model that helped propel the company to new heights during the coronavirus pandemic. Supply chain problems choked the production of new vehicles, social distancing measures made Carvana’s online-only car buying experience desirable, government stimulus programs gave consumers extra cash to spend and rock-bottom interest rates encouraged them to do just that.
In the summer of 2021, Carvana celebrated its first profitable quarter. On Aug. 10, of last year, Carvana’s stock reached its all-time intraday high of $376.83 a share. Trade publication Automotive News tracks companies by volume of vehicles sold every year. The latest data shows that in 2021 Carvana sold over 425,000 vehicles, giving the company its number two spot after used car behemoth CarMax. But the sky-high demand that made Carvana a Wall Street star would also bring it down.