Carvana is building a $25 million vehicle inspection and reconditioning facility near Richmond, Va., the Virginia governor’s office announced Thursday.
This is the second inspection and recon facility announced in the last four months involving Carvana, which recently began a similar project near Charlotte, N.C.
It is estimated the Richmond-area recon facility will generate 400 new jobs. The facility, which will be located in Chesterfield County, will be used for inspecting and reconditioning vehicles, as well as taking 360-degree photographs of the cars.
This is designed to give consumers a “detailed, high-definition virtual tour of every vehicle,” the Virginia's governor’s office said in a news release.
“Carvana is a fast-growing national company, and we are proud that it has chosen to locate and create new jobs in Chesterfield County,” Gov. Ralph Northam said in the release. “This is an exciting win for the region and for the Commonwealth.”
Carvana director of logistics Benjamin Morens said in the release: “Carvana has been growing extremely rapidly over the last several years, and we are working to bring The New Way to Buy a Car to even more customers all the time.
“As part of our efforts to scale the business, we’re looking forward to working with Chesterfield County and the state of Virginia to open a vehicle inspection and reconditioning center, and becoming a member of the community,” he said.
In the company’s recent quarterly earnings call and letter to shareholders, Carvana leadership discussed just how important these recon and inspection facilities, also known as IRCs, are to its growth goals.
Carvana currently has seven inspection and reconditioning facilities open. They are located in Atlanta, Dallas, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Indianapolis, Cleveland and Nashville, Tenn.
Just before Labor Day, Carvana said it will locate a new inspection and reconditioning facility in Cabarrus County, N.C. that would add annual recon/inspection capacity of about 67,000 vehicles. The existing capacity for the seven centers is an estimated 350,000 units.
Chairman and chief executive Ernie Garcia III said during the earnings call that before completing such facilities in Indianapolis and Cleveland, Carvana had no Midwest inspection centers. “So many markets in the Midwest suddenly got cars a lot closer to them, and the offering got better,” Garcia said.
“Those markets had broader selection, and they had faster delivery times. What we saw there was a 20% reduction in average miles traveled by all cars that were sold in those 10 markets that were nearest those bases. And we also saw sales more than double in those markets and grow over twice as fast as we would have otherwise expected,” Garcia said.
In the letter to shareholders, Garcia and chief financial officer Mark Jenkins said, “Continuing the march toward our long-term goal of selling 2 million+ vehicles per year requires a multi-year expansion plan. This means ensuring that our entire operational chain can expand quickly enough to fulfill the strong and growing demand for our offering.
“In particular, we are building a pipeline of potential IRC sites, which are the longest lead-time component of our model. Our real estate, reconditioning, logistics, wholesale, and purchasing teams have aligned to build out an institutional process for identifying and developing sites that are optimized for supporting our customers and logistics network.”
They later added: “IRCs deliver economies of scale that are a powerful force in our model. In particular, new IRCs create benefits in sales volumes and logistics expenses in surrounding markets.”
Correspondents Jim Leman and Daryl Lubinsky contributed to this report.