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Carvana pushes for Illinois state law change after recent bumpy road

Carvana pushes for Illinois state law change after recent bumpy road
Carvana pushes for Illinois state law change after recent bumpy road 02:45

CHICAGO (CBS) – Have you ever seen this tall tower of cars along the Ike?

Online car retailer Carvana says another vehicle "vending machine" is coming to Illinois. That's despite company turbulence in recent months, including the temporary suspension of Carvana's license in Illinois last spring.

Morning Insider Lauren Victory dug into Carvana's plan to reinvent itself.

Even on a dreary day, it's hard to not be dazzled by the moving parts inside the castle of cars in Oak Brook.

Drop in a coin, off the gears go to get the used vehicle the shopper already picked out online.

It's quite the schtick, that's had quite a few problems a few years after going public.

Carvana's stock price plummeted during the pandemic with analysts wondering about the fate of these scintillating vehicle vending machines.

"We're not going anywhere Lauren," said Kristin Thwaites, Carvana's director of communications.

Thwaite agreed to field some tough questions from CBS 2.

Victory: "Are you profitable right now?"

Thwaite: "We have a proven model that works."

Victory: "Are you confident the company is not looking at bankruptcy right now?"

Thwaites: "We are confident that we have plenty of liquidity to execute our plan."

The internet car dealer continues to "gain market share," according to Thwaites who said behind closed doors, the company is reducing costs.

"We're implementing systems and new operational and management practices that make us just more efficient across all areas of the business," she said.

The company was forced to shut down for two weeks last year after multiple consumer complaints. The online retailer recently settled with Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias' office and is allowed to continue operating.

"As part of the agreement, Carvana admitted wrongdoing and acknowledged that it violated that state's vehicle code." Giannoulias said.

Thwaites explained the issue "really related to a couple of small, considering the size of our business, title and registration delays which have now been resolved."

The company's focus now – "Illinois, we need your help," reads a Carvana-funded website about a proposal to update state law so it allows vehicles to be bought with an electronic signature.

"This legislation would ensure consumers can continue to benefit from the modern method of online car buying," Thwaite said.

Passing the home delivery bill would mean customers don't need to visit the vehicle vending machine to collect their prized new purchase.

The bill in Springfield would also require taxes from any online vehicle purchase to go back to the municipality where the dealership is located.

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