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CarMax Customer Experience Centers, Autotrader CPO awards, and NIADA Q1 Survey

CarMax to open more stores and make it easier for consumers to buy cars entirely online

The nation’s largest retailer of used vehicles is a serious contender in the retail race to allow consumers to skip the dealership to buy, finance and arrange home delivery of vehicles.

CarMax is supporting the expansion of its omnichannel sales experience — which describes buying a car online, by phone, text or email, in-store or a seamless combination of those methods — with the opening of three customer experience centers in its fiscal year that ends Feb. 29, 2020, said CarMax chief executive officer Bill Nash.

Customer experience center associates will assist customers with car shopping and financing until the customer takes delivery of their vehicle at a CarMax store or at their home or workplace, the company said.

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Hyundai, Lexus stand out from crowd in Autotrader’s CPO awards

Autotrader executive editor Brian Moody says all certified pre-owned vehicle programs are great.

But some, he added, stand out from the crowd.

In this case, he is referring to Hyundai and Lexus. Autotrader says Hyundai’s CPO program is a clear leader in the non-luxury pack, mainly because of its 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty, the balance of which transfers to the CPO vehicles.

According to Autotrader, Lexus’ CPO warranty adds two years and unlimited mileage to the remaining balance of the original four-year or 50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper new-car warranty (which includes powertrain coverage).

Because of those factors, Autotrader named Hyundai the winner in the category of best non-luxury CPO programs for 2019, and Lexus as the winner in the luxury category.

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NIADA Q1 business confidence survey

According to the first-quarter confidence survey for the NIADA, approximately 14% of independent dealers said they expect retail sales to decrease, up from just 5% of sentiment in the previous quarter.

Fewer independent dealers (33%) are looking to expand their business, down from 40% from the previous quarter. What’s more, 14% expect their cash flow to decline, up from just 3% in the previous quarter.

This is a result of 26% of independents saying that economic conditions represent the most important problem facing their business today.

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