We live in an increasingly on-demand age. In the past, if you wanted to watch your favorite program, you needed to be in view of a television in real time. Appointment television viewing has been replaced by a box that can play favorites at the touch of a button. Instead of having to wait 4-6 weeks for a package to arrive, consumers can now count on goods arriving within a 48-hour window while being able to track delivery in real time. Improvements in both technology and logistics have allowed American consumers to expect a superior purchasing process. For this reason, we plan on making the vehicle buying process more on-demand through the use of our planned marshalling centers.
The buying process will be different for our more than 65,000 reservation holders and the general buying public. While the marshalling centers and retail locations (which will be located in the top 60 US Markets) are being developed, reservation holders will have several different delivery options available. These details will be rolled out well in advance of production. After we have filled every reservation, new customers will be able to purchase their vehicles from a retail center. As we have outlined in a previous blog, our dealers will more closely resemble a retail store, think open floorplan like an Apple Store, than a traditional car dealership. The plan is to allow Elio customers to stroll into an Elio Motors store, select the vehicle they want to their exact specification and pick it up the next day. The Elio marshaling centers will make our on-demand ordering process possible.
At our plant in Caddo Parish, Louisiana, we will manufacture 14 standard vehicles: 7 distinct colors with 2 different transmission options. Once these vehicles roll off the production line, they will be transported by truck or rail to our marshalling center locations. We will have between 7-12 marshalling centers across the country, depending on geographic demand. Each center will be within 8-10 hours of an Elio dealer to ensure a quick turnaround. Additionally, the plant in Shreveport will act as a marshalling center.
Each marshalling center will have an Elio Customization Studio (ECS.) In these studios, components will be added to the vehicle. The ECS flow is designed to ensure that all installations are done correctly and quickly.
Here’s how the process will work:
Once the vehicles roll off of the assembly line, they will be transported to the marshalling center. Once received at the marshalling center, we will utilize bar scanning technology to track the vehicle and options. Vehicles needing options will then go through five different areas in the ECS receiving the necessary options according to the build order. As each component is added to the vehicle, it is then scanned and moved along to the next station in the line, ensuring every option ordered is installed. Once all options have been added to the vehicle, it will be scanned again and placed in the staging line to be delivered to the Elio dealership for delivery to the customer.
As just about all of our purchases are on-demand, we believe that the car buying process should follow suit. By making the process more on demand, the Elio will be in even higher demand.