Walmart OKs Trial Of Car-Buying Kiosks In Select U.S. Stores

January 27, 2017 by Dave Haynes

An online car-buying service has struck a leasing deal with Walmart to start putting interactive kiosks in 25 U.S. stores this spring.

Miami-based CarSaver, reports Automotive News, will have kiosks and related information centers that allow consumers to poke around for vehicles on the screens and book appointments at nearby dealerships that are in on the program. When bookings lead to deals, CarSaver gets a $350 commission.

The company says the program borrows off one run in U.S. Costco stores, with each Costco reportedly selling about 1,000 cars a year.

The Walmart setup will see staffed centers in the spaces across from checkouts, where you might otherwise see an optician or discount hair salon. The kiosks will enable shoppers to find, finance and insure vehicles, and there will be staff on hand to field questions and help navigate the process.

Automative News says the four-city trial follows a single store pilot in Florida. “CarSaver, Wal-Mart, auto lenders and 20 participating dealerships conducted a pilot version of the program in Stuart, Fla., in April 2016. More than half of the appointments scheduled through the program led to a sale, and on average, customers saved more than $3,000 off the sticker price, with the program’s no-haggle, upfront pricing,” said Sean Wolfington, CarSaver’s CEO.

It seems a really odd way to look for cars, but there’s clearly something to it. There’s no real risk to Walmart, as the story suggests the mega retailer is just leasing space.

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