Carvana has opened a second “Car Vending Machine.”
The online vehicle retailer opened the first one late last year in Nashville, Tenn., and said Tuesday it has opened a larger one in Houston.
The fully automated, coin-operated machine includes an eight-story, all-glass structure featuring four delivery bays and 30-car storage capability. Each delivery bay door has an illustration of the Houston cityscape.
The Nashville vending machine location that opened last year is a five-story, three-delivery-bay structure.
“People responded so positively to our Nashville Vending Machine that we knew we had to bring the experience to additional markets,” Carvana founder and chief executive officer Ernie Garcia said in a news release. “Houston is a natural fit for a Car Vending Machine, and we are thrilled to be able to offer customers this unique and, we hope, memorable pick-up option in addition to the free, as-soon-as next day delivery services we launched in Houston late last year.
“As they say, everything is bigger in Texas, so our first Car Vending Machine in the state had to reflect that mantra,” he said. “We’re incredibly excited to show just how fun and stress-free buying a car can be with Carvana.”
Once a consumer has purchased a vehicle through Carvana, he or she can choose to have the vehicle delivered or pick it up at a vending machine. If the customer chooses the latter option, he or she is given a large Carvana coin at the vending machine location, which they then drop to into a slot to get things rolling.
The vehicle is retrieved from the tower and brought down to the delivery bay
The Houston location is at 10939 Katy Freeway and is open from 9 a.m. (CT) to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Vehicle pickup is free. If a customer lives 100 miles outside of the Houston area and wants to pick it up at the Houston location, up to $200 in airfare is subsidized by Carvana. The company will also set up white-glove transport from the Houston airport.
When Auto Remarketing interviewed Garcia in July, we asked him about the consumer reaction to the Nashville vending machine in its first few months of operation.
“We’ve been very pleased with the consumer reaction to the vending machine,” he said. “I don’t want to give you too many statistics there, but I’ll say that we’ve been pleased and we’ve been pleased enough to where … you’re going to see more of the popping up in the not-too-distant future.”
Overall, it has been a busy year of expansion for Carvana. Last week, the company announced its 12th new market of 2016, expanding its total market count to 21 with its move into Cleveland. After starting with Atlanta in 2013, Carvana has been adding markets in all directions. Its fooprint now stretches from Miami to northeast Ohio, from the East Coast to Texas.
“Once we started (in Atlanta), we’re trying to make sure that all of our inventory is available to all of our customers anywhere. And so when you want to make all your inventory available everywhere, it makes a lot of sense to grow contiguously from where you start,” Garcia said during the July interview. “We’re kind of growing out. We’re emanating from the Southeast and we’ll continue to do that.”