Popular online auto retailer projects 400 new area jobs
By Terry Troy
Carvana, the online auto retailer that created auto vending machines, has acquired 400 acres in Trenton north of Cincinnati to build a new service and distribution facility. The 200,000 square-foot facility, a $24 million investment, will be used to inspect, service and repair vehicles for Carvana customers. The project is expected to create 400 new jobs.
“We offer a unique, honest and transparent approach that provides customers with a whole new way to buy a car and puts them back in control of their car-buying experience,” said Ernie Garcia III, founder, president and CEO of Carvana. “Knowing that Cincinnati is a big driving area, we’re confident customers will appreciate the great experience Carvana offers over the traditional dealership model. As the third biggest city in Ohio, with proximity to Northern Kentucky as well, there is a high demand for used cars in this area, and we’re excited to bring the Carvana experience to this market.”
Marking the 17th location since launch, Carvana continues rapid expansion and can now offer as-soon-as next-day car delivery to more than 118.3 million customers nationwide, 7.9 million residing in the Cincinnati and metropolitan areas.
“Carvana has been growing extremely rapidly over the last several years, and we are working to bring The New Way to Buy a Car® to even more customers all the time,” said Brian Boyd, Carvana’s Vice President of Inventory Strategy. “As part of our efforts to scale the business, we’re looking forward to working with REDI Cincinnati and JobsOhio to open a vehicle inspection and reconditioning center, and becoming a member of the Trenton community.”
Known for its easy, transparent online car buying experience, Carvana plans to build an inspection, reconditioning, and distribution facility that is strategically positioned within the company’s national logistics network to help service their growing customer base. Carvana allows customers to shop more than 20,000 vehicles on Carvana.com, as well as finance, purchase, then select as-soon-as-next-day touchless home delivery or Car Vending Machine pick-up. Carvana vehicles are inspected, reconditioned and photographed in 360-degrees at its inspection centers, like the one planned in Trenton, so customers get a detailed, high-definition virtual tour of every vehicle. Additionally, every vehicle comes with a seven-day return policy, so the customer can live with their vehicle for a week and ensure it fits their life.
“Economic development projects that involve more than 100 acres are few and far between, which is why the collaboration with all our partners was so important,” said Kimm Lauterbach, REDI Cincinnati president and CEO. “Preparing a large site like this one for development requires a substantial effort from many partners, and I’m proud to see that work pay off with Carvana’s investment in Trenton. Support from JobsOhio and the Ohio Development Services Agency was instrumental in making this project a success.”
In 2009, the City of Trenton began to seriously improve and market the Trenton Industrial Park, upgrading the utilities and road system to make it more attractive for potential end-users. It worked with the OKI Regional Council of Governments and the Ohio Department of Transportation to secure financial support from federal and state agencies for upgrades to Wayne Madison road to improve access to the site. Before attracting Carvana, Trenton used the SiteOhio program to gather insights on the site, resulting in recommendations to improve utility and road infrastructure to make it a more desirable location for investment. SiteOhio is an initiative designed to support local communities with the work of preparing a site to be immediately ready for development by an end-user. Carvana received a Job Creation Tax Credit from the Ohio Development Services Agency and an economic development grant from JobsOhio. Butler County and the Port Authority also supported the project with an Enterprise Zone and sales tax incentive.
“What these required improvements did to make the Trenton Industrial Park usable for these buyers cannot be overstated,” said James Foster, economic development director for the City of Trenton. “Our partnership with REDI Cincinnati and JobsOhio was a tremendous asset in facilitating the work that needed to be done. Thanks also goes to Butler County for supporting this project and making the Trenton Industrial Park a desirable place to do business. The City of Trenton is pleased to welcome Carvana and I’m thankful for the team effort that made it possible.”
Based in Phoenix, the new Cincinnati facility comes on the heels of the company’s announcement in August of last year that it was making a $23 million investment in Elyria Township near Cleveland where it is building a similar facility that will eventually create 400 jobs in northern Ohio.