Online used car dealer, Carvana has opened a 24-hour automobile “vending machine” in Atlanta, the first of several it plans to launch in 2014. Located in Atlanta’s West Midtown neighborhood, the cutting-edge facility boasts three-bays that allow for simultaneous pickups.
“Brands like Amazon and eBay have demonstrated the consumer’s appetite for purchasing large and small items online while paving the way for ‘quick ship’ delivery. Our goal from the beginning has been to create an online user experience that’s as simple and intuitive as shopping on Amazon or Zappos, but with even greater flexibility and service around the delivery,” said Ernie Garcia, founder and president of Carvana, “With our new vending machine concept, we believe we are at the forefront of the future of retail vending, where consumers will shop online and pick-up at a vending-machine. While we’re not pioneering that concept, we are pushing the envelope in introducing it to an industry with a primary distribution point that has been a four-hour, exhaustive commitment to a dealership.”
The structure provides a full digitally interactive experience complete with floor-to-ceiling windows, custom LED lighting, flat screen TV’s and interactive keypads that identify customers based on unique buyer credentials provided by Carvana after the purchase has been completed. With around-the-clock pick up availability, vehicles purchased on carvana.com will be available for test drive and pick up as early as 24-hours. And while company representatives are available on site to answer any questions that customers may have, the vending machine allows the opportunity for thorough inspections and test drives by the customer without the presence of a sales associate.
Launched earlier this year, Carvana currently maintains a fleet of cars in Winder, Ga., and sells them at a no-haggle price that company president Ernie Garcia told Fox News is $1,500 cheaper on average than traditional dealers can offer. Each car is accident free, comes with an Experian AutoCheck, has been fully inspected with any damage listed on the online tour, and comes with a ‘7-day no-question refund’ and a 100-day warranty. Customers can browse, shop, finance, purchase a vehicle on carvana.com and have it delivered to their door in as little as 24 hours. Or, if you don’t want it delivered, you can pick it up from the vending machine.
“Will the idea catch on?” asks Business Insider, ” Honestly, we’d be surprised if it didn’t.”
Car and Driver wasn’t quite as sold, stating, “For buyers looking at late-model used cars who don’t want to risk bidding on eBay or visiting a mega dealer like CarMax, Carvana’s novel concept promises to cut out uncertainty… But we prefer the greater control and wider vehicle selection afforded by doing the legwork ourselves.”
Autoblog also had a comment on the concept, stating, “We’re not sure if this is the future of car buying, but if purchasing from Carvana is as slick as the design and function of its website, it makes a pretty strong case for itself.”
So tell us, would you buy a car from a vending machine? Let us know in the comments below.