Buying a car is often a long, laborious process. But what if it was as easy as inserting a coin and a car comes out?
A few years ago, a company called Carvana followed in the footsteps of companies like CarMax by trying to move the car buying experience completely online, reports Verge.com. The process of purchasing a car on Carvana’s website includes all the steps that normally take place at a dealership: getting approved for and selecting financing, selecting a warranty, and signing the contract. It’s a process that, in an interview with The Verge, Carvana CEO Ernie Garcia is quick to point out takes many Carvana customers 20 minutes or less.
This left customers with just one dealership interaction: choosing pickup or delivery. And Garcia says that, more often than not, Carvana customers were choosing pickup — so much so that a subsequent pickup store in Atlanta was a rousing success. Now, though, Carvana is adding some spice to that experience.
“We knew that if [customers] chose to pick up the car we would save some money, and so we could invest that money in giving them a really, really great experience,” Garcia says. The result? A five-story, fully-automatic vending machine building for cars in Nashville. It’s like the automated car delivery experience offered by Volkswagen in Germany, except this one is coin-operated.
“The experience itself is exactly a vending machine experience,” Garcia says. “The customer even gets a customized, oversized coin that they drop into a slot.” The coin triggers a robotic arm, which goes up and grabs the car that the customer purchased online. When the car comes down, it’s transferred to another robot that drives the car down a hallway and parks it in a bay, where the customer receives their purchase. After that, Garcia says, customers can be walked through the features on their car, or even take it for a test drive.
In fact, Garcia says the funds aren’t actually transferred until the customer takes the final receipt of the car and drives it off the lot. And even when that happens, Carvana offers a seven-day, “no questions asked” return policy. “We even proactively call them on the sixth day and remind them that their return policy is expiring to ensure that they’re happy with the car,” Garcia says. He calls the “test-to-own” period “way more useful to a consumer than four right turns around a dealership.”
Watch the video of how the vending machine works here. And can someone please buy a car and invite us along to see how this works in person?More News Here