Thursday, October 16, 2008

Virtual car dealerships open in Phoenix-area Wal-Mart stores

I'm still trying to figure out the difference between this and staying at home shopping on your computer. I mean - who wants to endure the BS of going into a Walmart to use the service? Has anyone had the pleasure of trying to develop pictures at a Walmart self-serve photo kiosk? Oh well, time will prove if this is a good idea or not.

Pilot program allows Wal-Mart customers to shop for new and used vehicles

By Hannah Scott

In an exclusive pilot program with Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Live X Auto Exchange will begin to offer electronically enhanced auto trading services that bring an entirely new retail experience to consumers, reports television station KTAR in Phoenix.

Live X Auto Exchange is setting up shop at two Phoenix area Wal-Mart Super Centers. The “showroom” floor features music, televisions and computer screens to bring sellers and buyers together.

"It's a one-stop shop where you can get financing, you can look at all of the vehicles across town," said Patrick Dial, president and chief executive officer of Live X.

Live X uses a pricing intelligence system that takes the haggling out of car buying, Mr. Dial said.

There's one car on each showroom floor, which attracts people initially.

"When they come in and they ask, 'What are you guys doing?' we step them over to our technology and say, 'We're now in the car business, let me step you through it.'"

“Trading assistants” are at each of the showrooms to help people navigate through the online inventory, which features new and used cars from dealerships around Phoenix.

Live X Auto has an exclusive arrangement with Wal-Mart. It is an electronic trading platform that combines a virtual trading experience bringing car buyers and sellers together. Financing can be approved on the spot with several lenders including Wal-Mart's local partner, Desert Schools Credit Union.

There is a three-day, 500-mile exchange policy on most cars.


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