By Rick Morwick
Vroom, a pre-owned car retailer based in New York City, has shut down plans for central Indiana expansion and closed its Whitestown facility.
Self-billed as the largest online car dealer in the U.S, Vroom closed its 501,120-foot reconditioning center in Whitestown earlier this year. The company, founded in 2013, opened the facility in December 2015 with the expectation of eventually bringing approximately 300 jobs to the area.
But earlier this month, Whitestown officials received notice that Vroom had shut down its operation on Indianapolis Road. The building had previously been home to Subaru of America. Vroom leased it for what had been its second reconditioning site in the U.S. The other is near Dallas.
Whitestown officials received only a vague reason from Vroom for closing the plant. Attempts to reach Vroom for comment were unsuccesful.
“The company told us they were focusing their operations out-of-state at the present time,” said Molly Whitehead, executive director of the Boone County Economic Development Corp.
Vroom, which sells refurbished automobiles with free 24-hour delivery, announced plans for the Whitestown facility in September 2015. It planned to hire approximately 100 auto repair and logistics employees upon opening in December 2015. But the company didn’t, or couldn’t, push forward as quickly as planned.
Still, Vroom’s decision to close caught Whitestown officials off guard.
“Vroom.com was slow to start operations in Whitestown, although it was still a small surprise since the company had just started to hire their employees,” said Whitehead, who doesn’t know how many employees had already been hired.
Despite the unexpected shutdown, Vroom left open the possibility of re-starting operations in Whitestown sometime in the future. But again, the company was vague with town officials about any such plan.
“There were no timelines given for when they might consider re-opening, if ever,” Whitehead said. “In the meantime, we continue to see strong interest in Whitestown and throughout Boone County and will continue to market the community to other companies that may be interested in joining us here.”