Electric vehicle startup Karma Automotive has synced up with digital sales platform Drive Motors to power its online checkout option for consumers. Drive Motors, which counts Ally Financial Inc. as a preferred lender on its platform, enables consumers to get fully approved for loans in less than a minute, Chief Executive Aaron Krane told Auto Finance News.
Additionally, consumers can browse Karma’s inventory while valuing their trade-ins from home. However, consumers may still need to walk into the dealership at least once, in states that require a wet signature. To that end, Drive Motors is confident that the partnership will help bring a consistent consumer experience for Karma by focusing on one third-party solution to test.
“Newer brands can move faster,” Krane said. “Certain established OEMs likely [are] not going to be able to choose a single consistent online buying solution for their dealerships, so they will have to certify multiple, whereas a new OEM like Karma can create a consistent experience by focusing on one solution.” Drive Motors declined to say which larger OEM partners are still in the testing process.
For now, Irvine, Calif.-based Karma anticipates that 10% of its vehicles will be sold through the online platform, Ehren Bragg, store director for Karma Orange County, told AFN. The service is currently available at Karma’s Orange County dealership, and the OEM is launching dealerships in San Diego, San Francisco, and West Los Angeles that will come equipped with the Drive Motors solution starting in 2019.
After the viability of the platform is tested at these stores, the solution would be introduced to Karma’s 15 other dealerships across the U.S. and Canada, Bragg said. A 2018 Karma Revero costs $130,000.