By Tina Bellon
(Reuters) – Online used car buying platform Carvana Co (N:) on Thursday said it was nearly tripling its U.S. footprint and will expand to 100 additional markets as the coronavirus crisis prompts more consumers to embrace contactless vehicle purchases.
Carvana, which launched in 2012 and offers online purchases, financing and delivery of used vehicles, said its expansion comes at a time when many consumers shy away from entering traditional dealerships and vehicle showrooms.
The coronavirus outbreak, which at one point saw 90% of the U.S. population under some form of lockdown, has battered the auto industry, reducing sales in some areas with high infection rates by as much as 80%.
But Carvana Chief Executive Ernie Garcia told Reuters that sales on his platform held up much more broadly than those in the rest of the industry.
“Something that’s happened with this pandemic is that it’s gotten many consumers who…