Online used car buying and selling platform Vroom, Inc. has opened a new Houston hub to allow the retailer to inspect, detail and place temporary tags on all vehicles being delivered or picked up in Texas, according to a Wednesday (Oct. 20) press release.
Dubbed the Last Mile Hub, Vroom’s new addition, which is located in Stafford, Texas, is expected to serve almost 7.1 million drivers in the more than 455 ZIP codes within a 75-mile radius, according to the announcement. The company, which has been delivering vehicles to Houston since 2012, employs more than 900 staff in the company’s Reconditioning Center, Last Mile hub, executive offices, and Texas Direct Auto dealership and Sell Us Your Car locations.
Driven in large part by the pandemic – and the increase in remote car buying and selling – car purchases by Houston-area Vroom drivers surged by 144.6% from the first half of 2020 to the first half of 2021, according to the announcement. In addition, vehicles sold to Vroom skyrocketed by 624.4% during that time.
As part of the Last Mile Hub, Vroom is offering a personalized delivery experience where employees transport vehicles to local buyers’ driveways and demonstrate how to use their new cars.
“As Vroom’s business continues to grow, we’re committed to investing in the Houston area, from expanding our physical footprint, to hiring more local workers, to offering new services for our valued customers,” said Vroom Chief Logistics Officer Mary Kay Wegner. “Creating a more personalized driveway experience, rolling out more local hubs across the country and expanding our senior logistics team have been big priorities for us, so we’re excited to launch this offering in Houston, one of our home cities.”
In an interview with PYMNTS’ Karen Webster, Vroom CEO Paul Hennessy said that traditional car dealerships are struggling to compete with eCommerce car-buying. Vroom typically has roughly 10,000 vehicles in its inventory nationwide and the ability to deliver cars straight to a customer’s home. A brick-and-mortar car dealership, by comparison, may have, at most, a few hundred cars on the lot.