The nation's largest retailer is rolling out CarSaver kiosks in April.
You can buy anything at Walmart – from fish, to guns, and now cars. Beginning on April 1, 2017, 25 Walmarts in the Houston, Dallas, Phoenix, and Oklahoma City area will be introducing the CarSaver kiosk to their stores, letting customers search through new, used, and pre-owned vehicles in their area.
Though you won’t be able to pick up a car directly from your local Walmart parking lot, the kiosks let you look at options, apply for financing through Ally bank, and set up an appointment with a nearby dealer within 15 miles. The goal of the experience is to reduce the stress of the typical car buying experience, and avoid the hassle of negotiating a price.
The strategy is similar to a program Costco has been running at its stores since 2008. Unlike the Costco program, though, the Walmart CarSaver kiosk doesn’t require an annual membership fee. If the initial market testing goes as planned, the kiosk could be rolled out at Walmart stores across the country by 2018.
In a pilot run at a Walmart store in Stuart, Florida last year, customers saved about $3,000 off the car’s sticker price on average, according to Automotive News. Nearly 80 percent of the appointments scheduled through the program led to a sale. Depending on the state, Walmart makes a $350 "success fee" per every sale.
But Walmart isn't the only company jumping on board this new wave of car buying. According to AutoNation Chief Marketing Officer Mar Cannon, the CarSaver kiosk will also be rolled out at a number of AutoNation stores in Phoenix, Houston, and Dallas at launch. Only time will tell if this new kiosk strategy brings success.
Source: Automotive News