Alibaba users can book the car and go for a test drive to decide if they want to buy the same car or try a different one. The test drives are limited to 5 each month.
A car vending machine is not a far-away dream. Alibaba along with Ford will now enable users to buy or try a car using an app and a car vending machine. This comes after Alibaba announced its partnership with Ford in 2016. Also known as the Super Test Drive Center, the storehouse has multiple Ford cars in a multistory building. The users can further take a car for a 3-day test drive through their Tmail app.
The system, very carefully, uses Alibaba’s services to tap potential buyers with extra discounts and other incentives on ‘how they are’ on the Alibaba marketplace. Alibaba and Ford are not the first companies to try the concept. The process of storing cars goes as back as 1905 and why not? Storing cars like these prevents theft, damage and secures space.
This multi-floor vending machine, looks like a futuristic building, revolves cars in a wheel fashion until the car is found. Alibaba users can book the car and can go for a test drive and then decide, if they want to buy the same car or try a different one. The test drives are limited to 5 each month.
After the launch in Guangzhou, Alibaba is planning to launch out services across China to more cities. Ford has inked partnership with the company to make 15 hybrid car models to sell in China by 2025. This could provide an edge to Ford in the global race to electric car adoption.
US based Carvana operates on a similar model and the company has set up car vending machines. The startup lets its users insert a car to have a car delivered from the machine. They were recently in news as they were planning to build a seven storey car vending machine in Chesterfield.
With the model being tried and tested by the Chinese behemoths, it’ll be interesting to see who comes out as the emerging player in the Super Test drive. This is undoubtedly a model to be advertised – Welcome to the era of Car Vending Machines.