CarMax sales fall, but it holds onto per-vehicle profit

One year ago, 70 percent of CarMax’s inventory was priced below $25,000. Fast-forward to today, and “it’s more like 43 to 45 percent, and that’s really a result of inflationary pressures,” Nash said.

Older vehicles — 6 years old or with 60,000-plus miles — captured more consumer interest in the quarter, Nash said.

“Typically that type of inventory [represents] in a given year 20 to 25 percent of our sales,” Nash said. “For this quarter, it was more like 35 percent of our sales.”

In the second half of 2021, CarMax spent less on per-vehicle marketing because demand was so strong. That ended up changing in the first quarter, Mayor-Mora said. CarMax’s selling, general and administrative expenses grew 19 percent to $657 million, in part because of an increase in per-vehicle marketing, staffing costs and growth costs.

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