As several pieces of its inventory sit inside Manheim San Diego, Shift Technologies' has plans to utilize additional Manheim facilities in other West Coast markets by year-end.
Just weeks after announcing that it will use Manheim facilities services to avoid the sizable overhead costs associated with retailing vehicles, Shift is looking forward to entering more markets with Manheim operations.
Focus on tech
Since Manheim is helping the company with some of the boots-on-the-ground tasks, Shift has been able to focus on technology, as well as grow its inventory to match consumer demand, says its chief executive officer.
“With the help of Manheim facilities, Shift can focus on connecting with more consumers via more enhanced software as opposed to working toward ways to maintain the costs associated with operating reconditioning services and facilities,” Shift CEO George Arison said in emailed comments.
Not having to spend as much time and money on facility needs can provide the company savings on overhead costs, which would allow the digital retailer to work more on improving its platform.
When it comes to providing a marketplace where consumers can easily buy and sell cars, Shift takes a technology-first approach to provide customer service.
Arison explained how he feels that it is important to use innovation to provide the best buying and selling experience during an April phone interview for a new Shift survey on consumer's attitudes about their car-buying experiences.
“The purchase process hasn’t changed much at all, it’s the same as it has been for a long, long time,” Arison said. “Where customers need most innovation is in the purchase process because people get so mistreated.”
He suggests that providing consumers a more evolved transaction process when car shopping can be more valuable to consumers than the newer technology added to vehicles in recent years.
Last month, the company said upcoming market launches will be in cities where Manheim has an existing presence, which makes it easier for Shift to enter a new market as an automotive upstart.
“Our national partnership with Cox allows us to bring a larger selection of premium vehicles to a broader base of consumers,” said Arison. “Combing Shift's technology, operations, and marketplace with Cox's national reach allows us to accelerate growth in a cost-efficient and targeted way.”
Entering a market with existing Manheim facilities allows Shift to hit the ground running despite not have a place to service vehicles.
“We're looking at major cities on the West Coast for 2018,” Arison said.
In addition to the inventory kept at Shift facilities in San Francisco and Los Angeles, the company announced early last month that it first began maintaining an inventory of about 300 vehicles at Manheim San Diego.
The company said it processed vehicles more quickly during an initial test of the arrangement at Manheim San Diego.
“We flex up and down each month because people are constantly buying cars,” Arison explained.
“Right now it's around 150, but the number is always changing.”
When asked about plans for the company’s next move, Arison would not disclose any particular market locations of interest, but said upcoming cities will be announced soon.