Never buy cars from Carvana

As if anyone needed another reason to not use Carvana to buy a car, Jalopnik brings news of the shady ways that the online car retailer is handling layoffs, in an article titled “Carvana Lays Off Thousands of Workers, Buys Car Auction Company for $2.2 Billion on the Same Day”

Carvana, the used car dealer founded a decade ago whose meteoric growth was met with a fair number of problems, said Tuesday that it would lay off 2,500 employees, with executives going unpaid for the rest of 2022.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Carvana called the move a “right-sizing” initiative.

Separately on Tuesday, a Redditor posted what they said was an email sent to Carvana’s employees, which says that various industry stresses — supply chain problems, higher interest rates and inflation, and slower car sales because of “all-time high car prices” — meant that Carvana’s growth was slower than expected. The email, which we have not verified but seems legitimate, also says the layoffs add up to roughly 12 percent of Carvana’s employees, and offered the same information about severance for the affected employees contained in the SEC filing.

Layoffs were probably an inevitability given that Carvana reported its first-ever sales decline in April of this year—a year when used-car prices and demand are still at unprecedented highs. It’s worth noting that, simultaneous with the revelation of these mass layoffs and executive pay cuts, Carvana announced this morning it will pay $2.2 billion to acquire vehicle wholesaler Adesa U.S., which operates 56 auction locations across the country.

I tried using Carvana once when I was in the market for a used car. The whole process had the faint whiff of something being not quite right, so I walked away from Carvana and never considered it again.

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