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CarMax releases statement about why it isn't selling used Teslas... sort of

1 month ago by Joshua Fruhlinger in Consumer

After a period of silence on the matter, CarMax ($NYSE:KMX) has released a statement to Thinknum Media as to why Teslas are unavailable in its used-car marketplace. Sort of.

"The mix of our used vehicle inventory by make, model and age will vary from time to time, depending on consumer preferences, seasonality and market availability. CarMax does not have any Teslas available for sale at this time."

Here's how we got here:

Two months ago, we discovered something curious in-car inventory data at CarMax, America's largest used-car dealer. In September 2019, Teslas disappeared from CarMax's inventory. In early 2019, CarMax listed 343 used Teslas for sale. By September, that number dropped to 0 used Teslas for sale.

Today, Tesla doesn't even appear as an available Make on the site. Back when we first discovered the lack of Teslas, we called a dealership only to be told, "We no longer sell Teslas."

So we left it at that.

Last week when we reported that used Teslas had lost, an average, a value of $7,500 on the used car market at dealers like Carvana, we mentioned that Teslas are no longer sold at CarMax.

Within hours, CarMax reached out to us about the report, noting that they had never issued a statement on whether or not is sells Teslas.

So we asked them for an official statement as to why Teslas are no longer sold at the dealership.

The statement is tough to decipher, but, in short, CarMax seems to be telling us that there just aren't any used Teslas to sell. But used Teslas have become more common as the cars age. After all, they've been on the road since at least 2013, and some Teslas owners are already on their second or third cars. 

Teslas became somewhat common on the CarMax marketplace last year, jumping from just 38 available VINs in April 2018 to 279 that fall. But after a peak in the winter of 2019, used Teslas appeared to quickly disappear from CarMax. The last VINs appeared in its inventory in September 2019.

Decoding CarMax's official statement on the matter, it follows then that the dealership is saying that no one has a used Teslas for sale. It's a tough thing to believe, of course, especially given inventory at other dealers.

When we called CarMax to inquire if they'd buy our used Tesla (we don't really have one) two months ago, they simply said: "We no longer sell Teslas."

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales, and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue, and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

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Joshua Fruhlinger

Joshua has been writing about technology, lifestyle, and business for over 20 years. He's one of the original writers and editors for Engadget, and still writes a...

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