Walmart Selling Cars Will Be a Reality
Walmart will be selling cars at select locations, and we’re not talking about Hot Wheels or Power Wheels.
The retail giant is looking to do something Costco has been doing for a long time: hooking people up with sweet deals on new cars. Sam’s Club has a similar program, and now Walmart is joining in.
It makes sense, because Walmart already has vehicle service centers. Why not start selling the things? It’s a little more complicated than that, but the point’s still the same.
Not Entirely New
Everyone’s freaking out about this new program, but it’s not entirely new. Walmart pilot tested selling cars in Stuart, Florida last year. Obviously, it was a success.
Just like with this bigger rollout, the vehicle purchases were done through a service called CarSaver. Walmart shoppers visit an independent kiosk in stores. CarSaver representatives help with financing through Ally, and show the different vehicle options.
Afterward, the transaction is handed off to a dealership within 15 miles of the Walmart. It doesn’t get rid of the traditional vehicle distribution model, but it does streamline the shopping process.
In Australia and some other foreign markets, car dealerships do more than just sell cars. Yeah, our dealerships sell parts and servicing, just like theirs. But you can shop for car insurance when buying a car.
Walmart’s looking to do the same. At the CarSaver kiosks, shoppers will be able to sign up for insurance, plus get financing and pick out a vehicle. People are busy, so the one-stop destination feature adds a valuable convenience.
If you think most people just feel pressured and back out, CarSaver says that’s not how things have gone. During the pilot program, sales conversions from the kiosks leads were about 80 percent. That’s impressive. It’s easy to see why Walmart is going ahead with an expansion. Dealers who work with the program benefit, too.
Walmart Selling Cars Is Nothing Personal
Before you get warm, fuzzy pictures in your head of a professional from CarSaver sitting down with Walmart shoppers, just stop. The kiosks will have cold, hard touchscreens. If you have questions or need help, you can call someone.
The kiosks will also give instructions for doing everything on your own phone. That’s good, because I have a thing about using public touchscreens. You never know where people’s hands have been.
From there, a sales associate from a local dealership calls the Walmart shopper. They set up an appointment, and from there it’s pretty much like your usual car shopping process.
While the pilot program was limited to a single location in Florida, a much bigger rollout is going on. 25 different Walmart locations in the Southwestern United States will be included this time.
The goal is to expand the CarSaver program to Walmart locations throughout the continental United States. This rollout should take two years, if everything goes well.
Will You Save Money?
People go to Walmart not because it’s a great environment, or they like the ambiance. The whole point of shopping at the store is to save you money. So, does this car shopping program equate to big savings?
You might think the whole thing is like TrueCar or similar programs, which claim to shave thousands off vehicle purchases. CarSaver claims the average person saves thousands, but there’s no data to back that up.
That’s right, don’t expect Rollback savings on something exciting like a new Nissan Altima or Toyota Camry. You’ll have to haggle with the dealer for any car discount.
Maybe the whole Walmart car shopping program will save people a lot of money. Just proceed with caution if you decide to check it out.
There you have it: Walmart selling cars is a reality, in a roundabout sort of way. No, you’re not going to be selecting an Accord sitting in the back. But this could shift how people are getting new vehicles.