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Carvana Launches The First Fully-Automated, Coin-Operated Car Vending Machine | DrivingSales News

Carvana Launches The First Fully-Automated, Coin-Operated Car Vending Machine

November 12, 2015 0 Comments


The auto industry has been hit with a flurry of used car startups over the past year, with four of the largest – Carvana, Beepi, Vroom and Shift – having collectively raised more than $300 million in reported funding. These companies claim to reduce the inefficiencies that traditionally exist in the buying and selling of used cars and promise to pass on the savings to their customers.

Now, Carvana is suggesting that buying a car can be as easy as picking up a can of soda, with its launch of the first-ever automated, coin-operated car vending machine in Tennessee.

“Carvana created the original car vending machine concept in Atlanta in 2014, and we’ve spent the last year taking this experience to a whole new level,” said Ernie Garcia, CEO of Carvana. “Our new vending machine is a state-of-the-art, multi-story structure that delivers our customers’ cars by merely inserting a custom coin. Carvana’s mission is to create a better way to buy a car, and this new vending machine will be a one-of-a-kind experience that mirrors just how simple and easy we’ve made it to buy a car online.”

Of course, the Carvana process still involves more than simply putting a coin in a slot. Customers must first purchase their car online, a service that Carvana has offered since 2013, and they must subsequently travel to the pickup site in Nashville. Once they arrive, the customer will see a five-story glass structure that holds 20 cars, three customer delivery bays, and a welcome center.

Because the work has already been done online, all that the customer needs to do once they arrive is select their name from a kiosk and insert a special Carvana-branded coin into the appropriate slot. Looking like an enormous carnival attraction, the tower springs to life and automatically shuttles the car down to the ground-level delivery bay, where employees are available to help if needed.

Although the vending machine can be seen as nothing more than a gimmick, it clearly illustrates that the company is working hard to disrupt the used car industry.

“I think the inspiration for Carvana – and I wish it were more complicated – but I think what it came down to was there are a lot of people that aren’t very happy with the current way of buying cars, and people are changing their behaviors pretty significantly in buying cars,” explained Carvana co-founder Ernie Garcia.

The company’s model allows customers to browse its selection of company-owned used cars online with high-res photos and 360-degree virtual tours, allowing for zooming in to discover any imperfections on the car. Once a customer selects their vehicle online, they can arrange financing, trade-in a car, sign contracts and schedule the car for delivery or pickup. However, Carvana learned that some people want to see a vehicle in person and pick it up at a designated facility, which is why its car vending machine concept was created.

Garcia says the vending machine tower took years to develop in collaboration with architects and engineers from around the world. Although the company previously opened its first vending machine in Atlanta, it doesn’t include a tower.

Carvana says that more vending machines are on the way, but for those who can’t wait for one to be launched in their area, the company will subsidize $200 in airfare and arrange transportation from the Nashville airport for customers who live outside of Tennessee.

“I think what we’re trying to create is a fun way to pick up your car that is also metaphorically representative of what we are as a brand,” said Garcia. “It’s fun, it’s easy, it’s automated, and the customer is in control.”

About the Author:

The DrivingSales News team is dedicated to breaking the relevant and the tough stories affecting car dealers. Have questions for DrivingSales News? Reach the team at news@drivingsales.com.

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