Buying a car is a hellish process. An experience that assaults the nerves in such a way that it’s only rivaled by appointments with the dentist. But what if buying a car was easier than that? What if it was as easy as, say, a vending machine?
A few years ago, a company called Carvana move the car buying experience completely online: getting approved for and selecting financing, selecting a warranty, and signing the contract.
This left customers with just one dealership interaction: choosing pickup or delivery. More often than not, Carvana customers were choosing pickup. 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.Ernie Garcia, Carvana CEO
The result? A five-story, fully-automatic vending machine building for cars.
“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.
The best is that the overall cost will be lower in the long run. By employing fewer staff, leasing less acreage, and carrying fewer cars, Carvana drastically lowers the overhead. It also allows them to sell cars for up to $2,000 less than most dealerships.
Fun Car Facts
- Most new cars fake engine noise through speakers. They are quite silent otherwise.
- It is a criminal offense to drive around in a dirty car in Russia.
- The new car smell is produced by over 50 volatile organic compounds.
- It would take less than 6 months to get to the moon by car at 60mph.
- Up to 19 girls can be crammed into a Smart car.