ABQ Business First: Carvana sets sights on Albuquerque

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The online car retailer Carvana is planning to build a multi-story car vending machine in the Duke City.

"Carvana is an online car retailer. They do their business in a couple of ways. If you order a car online, you can either get it delivered to your home or if you live near one of their ‘vending machines’, you can purchase your car there,” said Rachel Sams, editor-in-chief of Albuquerque Business First.

Most people usually think of sodas and junk food going inside vending machines. Sams said this Carvana structure has a similar concept, but with a much different product.

"Vending machines are actually large, multi-story structures. Carvana will give you a special coin if you want to buy your car this way – and you put it into the vending machine and watch as it dispenses your car."

Carvana would build its new vending machine along I-25 near Comanche. The FAA signed off on the eight-story tower last year.

According to Albuquerque Business First, the Albuquerque city council will soon decide Carvana’s fate.

"Carvana has applied to the city for a building permit for their car vending machine. There’s multiple layers of approvals that they would need to get from the city in order to receive that, so right now it is a project that’s on the drawing board,” Sams said.

If Carvana is able to make the move to New Mexico, Sams said it will be the retailers 25th physical location. People won’t be able to visit a traditional showroom before buying a car from Carvana since their cars are sold exclusively online.

"Even before COVID, there were definitely some buyers that wanted to explore buying a car online to go a different route than the traditional route of going to the dealership. COVID, like with so many other online ordering approaches, just seems to have accelerated the change that was already taking place in more buyers already starting to move online,” Sams said. “That’s happened much faster than we expected as a result of COVID, and so some companies are moving faster as they might have expected, too, to respond to that change."

To read more about Carvana, click here to view the article in Albuquerque Business First.