Altered Carbon Online Car Sales Company Carvana Opens Largest Car Vending Machine in Tempe
If you’re driving down the 202 in Tempe you’ve probably craned your neck over to the south side of the freeway to catch a glimpse of Tempe Town Lake. The boats, the shimmering water, the reflections from the State Farm building, the broad side of “A” Mountain–there’s always something to take your mind off the traffic.
Now, drivers have something else to steal their looks as a neon bright glass case has been erected off Rural and the 202. The freshly-minted nine-story tower is a car vending machine propped up Carvana, the Tempe-based online car sales company that went public last year. The e-commerce platform, headed by young CEO Ernie Garcia, Jr., and guided by his father, Ernie Garcia, Sr., of parent company DriveTime, has given another option to traditional car buying.
Carvana is done completely online. From browsing for the right car to having it dropped off at a location of your choice to being able to pick it up from the vending machine like a sandwich from the break room, Carvana is offering a unique car-buying experience.
The tower holds up to 34 pre-owned vehicles and provides car buyers a truly different way to get their vehicle. The cars are purchased online at Carvana.com and the customer is given the opportunity to either have the car shipped to them or to pick it up from the closest vending machine. This is the third opening this month for Carvana and has already hit markets of all sizes across the country. Some traditional car dealerships have even started offering the same kind of experience, offering interested car buyers the opportunity to have their car delivered.
But Carvana is way ahead of the curve in this new age of digital commerce. It’s seen a huge boom in interest and business since its inception in 2012. Think of it as shopping on Amazon, sifting through more than 10,000 available vehicles to find the right one. Carvana has expanded its inventory to include luxury cars and electric vehicles such as Tesla and Lexus.
Other locations that house a car vending machine include Austin, Nashville, Raleigh, Charlotte, and Houston, to name a few. When a customer arrives at a vending location they receive an oversized, commemorative coin to activate the process and delivery of the car to the delivery bay. It’s fun, sure, but it only takes a few minutes. The big draw here besides the fun factor? It’s completely replacing the need for car salesmen, which for some people may not be the most attractive element to the overall experience.
Carvana touts a seven-day return policy, allowing customers to send it back or drop it back off if it doesn’t fit their life. The cars go through an extensive 150-point inspection process and are certified. The cars have to have never been in an accident and have no frame damage.
The company has also opened a new inspection center in Tolleson, bringing hundreds of jobs to the Phoenix area and keeping local appreciation in the company’s DNA.