Would You Buy Your Next Car From (Wait for It!)…A Vending Machine?

Vending machine cars
THIS is the automobile vending machine, folks!

*And the innovations just keep on coming. And here you thought vending machines were only for those tasty snacks. Betcha’ never, eva…eva…thought you’d have an opportunity to buy a vehicle from one.

Well this, my dears, is now a reality.

A company called Carvana, based in Atlanta, has only been around for two-and-a-half years, but they are making a lot of noise because of their interesting business practice. For example: their car delivery service allows customers to purchase a vehicle online, and then its delivered to their doorstep for a seven-day, no questions asked, test drive.

I’m going to just give y’all a moment to digest that, K?


But being innovative in this way obviously wasn’t enough for Carvana. Now they have made moves to have customers actually purchase their pre-owned vehicles from vending machines.

And they are opening the first-ever cars vending machine business in Nashville, Tennessee!

“We wanted to create something that would be inexpensive long-term so we could keep our prices historically low and then do something on brand metaphorically where customers are in complete control of the experience and making car buying fun,” CEO Ernie Garcia said in a phone conversation. “Often the experience of buying a car ruins the experience of buying a car, and we don’t want to do that, so we came up with this idea of a vending machine.”

The company is backed by DriveTime, a nationwide network of used car dealerships and service facilities. Carvana just raised $50 million in its initial funding round.

Carvana says its customers save about $1,500 in dealership fees because they don’t have a permanent dealership to travel to. They make their money the same way any used car business does: They purchase used cars for a low price, then resell them with a slightly higher markup.

Forbes carvana-600x450

With the Nashville vending machine, customers will have the same purchasing experience they have always had. Carvana offers a variety of brands, such as Ford and Tesla, and a huge range in prices, anywhere from $7,000 to $90,000. The only difference in the customer’s experience is the delivery method.

The vending machine (pictured at the top of this article) features a glass tower that hold five tiers of vehicles and up to 20 cars, and the way it works is fairly simple.

Customers order their Carvana used car online, they then go to the Welcome Center where they are given a commemorative coin to insert into the slot, a robotic arm then pulls the car out onto a pallet that takes the car to its delivery bay and once their car has reached its delivery bay, customers can inspect the car and take it home.

So why would a customer who can have their car delivered to their home now want to visit a Welcome Center?

“There are still customers who have been bruised and wounded by their historical car purchasing experiences, so they’re not super comfortable with an automotive retailer coming to their door so they would rather go somewhere to get the car,” Garcia said. “They feel like it’s easier to walk away probably, so I think we didn’t really anticipate that because we knew we wouldn’t be giving customers that experience, but that is real.”

Depending on how good this new vending machine model does in Tennessee will determine where we will see more of them moving forward.

Wow! I’d give it a shot if I was in Tenn. But Atlanta is still a great idea too so…

Read more here.


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