A new player sped into Alberta’s used car market this week, promising to turn things around.
Canadian Units officially launched in the province on Tuesday, following a successful start in BC and Ontario.
The 100 percent online car buying and selling platform allows customers to order a car and have it delivered to their home as soon as the same day.
“This is the way everything moves,” company founder Cody Green told Global News. “Vehicles are no different.”
What’s different, Green said, is the ease of buying or selling a vehicle with Canada Drives.
“You are going to find total transparency,” he said. “You will find the full vehicle inspection report, you will see the Carfax, which is the vehicle history report.”
Green added that there are also options for additional warranty coverage, on top of the free 30-day warranty provided, as well as financing options, payment options and, most importantly, a trial period.
“When we leave the vehicle, you will have an hour to walk around the vehicle, make sure it is the right purchase for you,” he added.
“If for some reason in those seven days you decide that it is not the perfect fit, let us know and we will go and pick it up.”
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It was that “love it or give it back” guarantee that he sold to Vamsi Avala in his new “used” vehicle.
“To be honest, I was a bit hesitant to buy a car online,” he told Global News.
“But the first thing that attracted me was the free return in seven days, as if no questions were asked. And on top of that, it’s like a 30-day guarantee. “
Avala also said she believed she got the best deal possible, with Canada Drives’ no-haggle pricing policy, and her vehicle was delivered in just a couple of days.
Not sure it would have worked that well at a dealership.
“We have to go through a lot of paperwork, there are a lot of fees involved. And I felt that it is a process that takes time, ”he added. “Where online was a smooth ride, from start to finish.”
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Green said he has seen huge demand for his company’s service in other provinces and is confident that it can compete with what dealerships offer, even if they have their inventory online.
“Yes, you can see some images online, but it will quickly change to ‘Hey, please call us, please come down, meet our finance manager, our sales manager,’” he added. “I don’t think that’s the experience most Canadians are looking for today.”
Global News reached out to Canadian Automobile Dealers Association (CADA). In a statement, they said auto dealerships across Canada have a “long and successful history of adapting and evolving the sales experience to meet customer needs.”
He also added that new entrants to the market must follow the rules set by the provincial government and act as auto brokers.
“That ultimately adds an additional layer of cost to the customer.”
“As the market evolves, EACH is confident that the customer who buys directly from a local distributor is the best option and the lowest cost for consumers.”
the Alberta Automobile Dealers Association responded to request for comment and added: “Please welcome Canada Drives to our province.”
He also said that its members have the same capabilities when it comes to online presence and transaction processing, as well as something else.
“In our experience, most consumers like the opportunity to test drive a vehicle to make sure it meets their needs,” added association president Gerald Wood.
“And they appreciate the fact that our members have a physical location where the vehicle can be conveniently serviced throughout its useful life.”
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Green said Canada Drives brings as much power as possible to the consumer when it comes to vehicle repair, allowing the consumer to ultimately choose where they want their vehicle fixed.
He also noted that they employ more than 500 people, many of whom are on the ground in all the cities in which Canada Drives operates.
He remains confident that the company can get many clients to switch to its business model, adding that even if it doesn’t, its market entry is a good thing.
“At the end of the day, this is a win for consumers,” Green added. “We are pushing for convenience and transparency and they (the distributors) will have no choice but to react to that. I think it will be a victory for everyone. “
Canada Drives does not have a price haggling policy for both the purchase and sale of a vehicle.
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