Guest Editorial: The New Car Buying Experience

By Scottsdale Pinetop

Everyone has a story about buying a car. Whether it was the first or the 15th, it’s an experience that’s hard to forget. And while many people buy their cars from dealerships or used-car retailers, a new Tempe dealership is taking car shopping to a whole new level – literally.

Using the power of technology and innovation, the online-only used car dealership Carvana opened its first Arizona “vending machine” dealership in north Tempe.

More than just an eye-catcher, this unusual nine-story-tall, glass-enclosed parking structure with nine electric motors provide new marketing visibility to the thousands of drivers along Loop 202 and Scottsdale Road. Its mission is to change the way people buy cars.

Like a kid in a candy store, customers drop a giant coin into the simulated “vending machine” slot and retrieve their car as it is lowered from a series of bays and platforms. Unlike traditional dealership infrastructures, Carvana seeks to condense the car dealing experience. Typical auto dealerships tend to take up several acres of land and display hundreds of trucks and cars. Through the company’s website, customers can shop from over 12,000 vehicles currently in inventory. Tempe will be the third city this month to incorporate one of these machines and will join 11 other cities across the U.S.

In the “old-days”, people had to hit the streets to find clothes, food, household items and gifts. But in the age of the 21st century, these things can be provided with a simple push of a button that can be delivered to your front door. More and more retailers are finding their way online, thanks to the development of e-commerce. And now, car dealerships are finding their place among online shopping. Carvana is just the start of a whole new car buying experience that fits with the times.