Walmart U.S. leasing space in 16 stores to CarSavers

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 744 views 

Headlines that Walmart U.S. will be selling cars isn’t completely accurate, according to the retail giant. Wal-Mart corporate spokeswoman Molly Blakeman told Talk Business & Politics that Walmart leased space to CarSavers in its Stuart, Fla. store, but she had no information on a partnership with AutoNation and CarSavers as reported in other publications.

Marc Cannon, chief marketing officer for AutoNation, told Talk Business & Politics there is a deal for CarSavers to lease space in 16 stores later this spring. He said CarSavers has conducted a test in Florida with Walmart U.S. for the past four months and is pleased with the results.

He said Walmart has agreed to 16 store locations in Dallas and Houston, as well as Oklahoma City and Phoenix. Over the next couple of months the space is being renovated for CarSaver service centers. Cannon said by mid-April Walmart customers will have access to CarSavers research and price comparison data at their disposal as they shop at Walmart.

CarSavers will provide shoppers with information on models, financing and insurance costs and then connect them with local dealerships including those owned by AutoNation, the largest chain of dealerships in the country. AutoNation does not own any dealerships in the Oklahoma City market.

“We’re excited about the launch of this program and we’re pretty confident it’s a good fit for Walmart customers,” Cannon said. “Walmart and CarSavers have similar missions to save consumers money while also offering pleasant shopping experiences.”

CarSavers reports 80% of the appointments scheduled through its trial program at Walmart led to a sale and customers on average saved $3,000 off the sticker price with no-haggle, upfront pricing.

Walmart’s sister company Sam’s Club offers a similar service with TrueCar, helping its members find and negotiate competitive prices for new and used vehicles. Costco has also had a similar program for years.

CarSavers said the company expects to sell about 1,000 new and used vehicles a year with leads from each Walmart U.S. Supercenter where it has offices. That’s on par with the volume generated by Costco.

Wal-Mart’s massive size and real estate holdings are an attractive for CarSavers and AutoNation as 90% of U.S. consumers live within 15 miles of a Walmart store and 140 million consumers visit Walmart each week.

Ally Financial has also been part of the CarSaver’s pilot project in Florida and recently signed onto the program as the preferred lender. Ally’s dealer clients are encouraged to apply to join this new CarSaver’s program and receive a $1,000 credit per month for six months on their CarSaver bill. A benefit to Walmart customers who finance their CarSaver’s deal through Ally is a $100 Walmart gift card as part of this program.