Part of the attraction to investors: selling cars is only part of what makes Carvana money. In the second quarter, around 36% of the company’s gross profit per unit came from selling loans it made to customers to buy the cars. Retail sales accounted for 39% of gross profit per unit, Carvana’s preferred earnings measure. Other types of income, including from vehicle-servicing contracts, made up the rest.
Last quarter, the loan surge helped Carvana earn its first ever quarterly profit.