Online automotive retailer Carvana has an eye-catching new publicity stunt. The company launched its fully-automated, coin-operating car “Vending Machine’’ in Nashville, Tennessee last week.
The device is a 5-story tall tower that is capable of storing as many as 20 vehicles. It includes three Customer Delivery Bays, and an automated system that transfers a vehicle from its position in the tower to the bay.
Customers are given an extra large coin they can insert in the machine. The company is also offering customers a personalized video of their experience that they can share on social media.
“We are delighted to launch the world’s first robotic Vending Machine for cars,’’ said Carvana founder and CEO Ernie Garcia in a statement.
“Carvana’s mission is to create a better way to buy a car, and this new Vending Machine will be a one-of-a-kind experience that mirrors just how simple and easy we’ve made it to buy a car online,’’ Garcia continued.
This is the company’s first “coin-operated’’ car vending machine that employs software and robotic engineering to retrieve cars. In 2013, Carvana launched its original “vending machine’’ design, featuring a single story structure and no automation.
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Check out Carvana’s coin-operated car vending machine
The facility is similar to a structure at the Autostadt, a theme park near Volkswagen’s headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, where a pair of silo-like “Car Towers’’ are used to store up to 400 new vehicles each before they are delivered to customers.
Massachusetts-based customers who want to pick up their vehicle at the vending machine must be willing to travel to Nashville to do so. Carvana is offering visitors to Tennessee a $200 airfare credit and arrange for transportation from the Nashville airport.
A spokesperson for the company said Massachusetts customers can also opt to have their vehicles delivered to their homes for a fee.
Carvana first launched in 2013 and bills itself as the first “complete online auto retailer.’’ The company claims consumers can buy a used vehicle in as little as 11 minutes with an average savings of $1,681. The company also offers financing and promises to deliver vehicles to customers as early as the following day.
The company also allows customers to test drive their purchased vehicle for seven days and return it with “no questions asked’’ if they have any issues with it.