By AJ Jenkins, CityLift
In a recent article, we discussed how auto dealers are looking to integrate automated parking systems to increase space counts, all while reducing the usable footprint compared to antiquated conventional parking methods.
Automated parking systems can increase inventory, and hopefully that means more sales and revenue in a year. They can also reduce off-site parking, which cuts additional parking expenses including rent, security, utilities and the like.
There are multiple automated parking solutions in the market that are available to meet your property constraints. In this article, we will address a semi-automated parking system called the Puzzle, and the value adds it can introduce to your dealership. In a future article, we’ll discuss fully-automated systems that offer additional space savings and a unique proposal to store and display inventory.
The semi-automated Puzzle system can be built up to 7 levels. This is a rack and rail steel structure with each car being independently accessible and the system mechanically maneuvering vehicles. This solution will offer you more inventory in less space along with a unique method to display vehicles and capture passerby’s attention.
How is this possible?
On a Puzzle system, except for the top level, there’s always one space missing from each level. For example, on a 3-level, 4-wide system, the configuration would look like this:
Congratulations! You’ve immediately doubled, and can even triple your parking capacity in the same footprint! What used to be four conventional level parking spaces, just turned into a 10-space automated parking system.
The top level only moves up and down, while the first two levels lift, lower and traverse. Click here to watch a sample of the movement using CityLift Parking’s Puzzle system.
Let’s say you need to get the black BMW X5 down. If needed, all six cars on the first two levels would move to the left, allowing the top car to come all the way down. Because the image shows all cars to the left already, the X5 would just come straight down. However, if the gold Lexus RX300 needed to come down, then only two cars on levels 1 and 2 would shift to the right, allowing the RX300 to come down.
Average retrieval time for a Puzzle lift is less than 30 seconds. The Puzzle solution requires the following clear heights:
- 2 Level Puzzle: 12’
- 3 Level Puzzle: 5’
- 4 Level Puzzle: 5’
- 5 Level Puzzle: 5’
- 6 Level Puzzle: 5’
- 7 Level Puzzle: 42’
“We’ve seen dealerships use these in different ways,” says Scott Gable, CEO of CityLift Parking. “Dealerships are using our systems for employee parking, for the service department, storing inventory, or even showcasing cars in a jewelry box structure. You no longer need offsite parking and rent an additional lot down the street to store and park your cars. So, you’re not only saving time retrieving cars, you’re saving even more money on unwarranted land costs for offsite storage.”
Based in Oakland, Calif., CityLift Parking designs and builds automated parking structures. A.J. Jenkins is vice president of business development for CityLift (www.citylife.com). He can be reached at 1-561-703-8121 or firstname.lastname@example.org