Aug 13 (Reuters) - Online vehicle seller Vroom Inc
is seeing more demand for used cars "than we can currently
fulfill" due to the coronavirus pandemic, with a 20% increase in
demand in U.S. cities that may indicate people are buying cars
as they migrate to the suburbs, the company's top executive said
"Even with an uncertain stimulus package, even with current
unemployment levels, the demand is really strong," Vroom Chief
Executive Paul Hennessy told Reuters. "As the V-shaped recovery
hit us in May, we've been doing everything in our power to add
cars because customers want them."
Hennessy spoke to Reuters the day after Vroom posted
Investors were disappointed in Vroom's third-quarter revenue
forecast, sending its stock down more than 15%.
Hennessy said Vroom's forecast reflects the fact its average
selling price has "come down a lot as a result of the pandemic."
Americans typically become more frugal and favor used cars
in uncertain times.
"It is a lower revenue, but were expecting to make more
dollars per unit than we thought," Hennessy said. "So the
numbers that really matter the profit that we make from the
car are intact."
Online sales still only account for around 1% of the roughly
$840 billion Americans spend annually on around 40 million used
cars. But after numerous U.S. states went into COVID-19
lockdowns in March, the advantage of socially-distant online
sales has come squarely into focus.
Hennessy said sales in pandemic-hit states like California,
Texas and Florida remain "very strong" and Vroom has seen a 20%
increase in demand in U.S. cities.
"That's either people who want to get away for a week and
need to exit the city," he said, "or there's a migration from
the cities to suburban areas and we think customers are securing
cars because theyve got a new life."
(Reporting By Nick Carey
Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Chris Reese)