Feb 22, 2017

Used car marketplace Shift gets a new president

Shift Technologies

Used car marketplace Shift is promoting Toby Russell to president, just one week after rival Beepi shut down, the company tells Axios. Russell joined the company in 2015 from Capital One, and has spent much of his time focused on customer financing. So why does Russell think Shift will succeed where Beepi failed?

  • Macro: More than 75% of car shopping begins online, according to Russell, so Shift and its competitors are aligned with a significant trend.
  • Supply: It recently partnered with Hertz to sell the rental car chain's cars in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and soon in more cities, which would otherwise be auctioned off. According to Russell, this provides Shift with a significant supply of cars, and at a much lower seller acquisition cost.
  • Competitive advantage: Unlike Beepi, Shift lets buyers test drive a car before they purchase it. Beepi instead offered a return window if the buyer wasn't happy, but Russell argues that it's the wrong approach. Cars are big purchases and buyers usually check out more than one car before making a final decisions. What's more, a test drive also removes the complications of reversing a car loan or returning the money if the buyer changes their mind.

With that said, it's clear that even Shift is still learning some lessons the hard way—last month, TechCrunch reported the company shut down its D.C. operations and laid off 10% of its staff, or 25 employees. According to Shift, it did so in order to refocus on its Hertz partnership which doesn't require the same kind of staff. And it still has several competitors left in the market, including Vroom, Carvana, and Carlypso.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 p.m. ET: 838,061 — Total deaths: 41,261 — Total recoveries: 174,115.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 p.m. ET: 177,452 — Total deaths: 3,440 — Total recoveries: 6,038.
  3. Public health updates: More than 400 long-term care facilities across the U.S. report patients with coronavirus — Older adults and people with other health conditions are more at risk, new data shows.
  4. Federal government latest: The White House and other institutions are observing several models to better understand and prepare cities for when the coronavirus is expected to peak in the U.S.
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U.S. coronavirus updates: White House studies models projecting virus peak

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The White House and other institutions are observing several models to better understand and prepare cities for when the coronavirus is expected to peak in the U.S.

The state of play: The coronavirus is expected to peak in the U.S. in two weeks, but many states like Virginia and Maryland will see their individual peaks well after that, according to a model by the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

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FDA authorizes two-minute antibody testing kit to detect coronavirus

Currently, it takes days to produce results from testing kits. Photo: Sergei Malgavko\TASS via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency approval Tuesday for a serological testing kit produced by Bodysphere Inc. that can detect a positive or negative result for COVID-19 in two minutes.

Why it matters: Access to testing has improved in the U.S. thanks to commercial labs, but the average wait time for a patient's results is four to five days — with some reports of it taking more than a week.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health