New concepts: vending machine for cars

New concepts: vending machine for cars

Alibaba’s ‘Super Test-Drive Center’ in Guangzhou, China holds over 100 Ford cars available for Chinese customers to select from a giant ‘vending machine’.

The centre offers three-day test-drives to potential buyers researching their next purchase, allowing them to choose from various models including the Explorer SUV, Mustang, Edge and Everest models.

“We are looking for ways to simplify customers’ lives and give them the ultimate try-before-you-buy experience,” said Dean Stoneley, vice president of marketing at Ford Asia Pacific, at a launch event.

Consumers can use the internet to access more accurate, convenient services and get a deeper understanding into particular vehicles. By doing so, the auto vending machine and super drive test services enable auto brand owners and distributors to better serve their customers.

Once the vehicle is chosen, the buyer can put down an electronic deposit and schedule a pick-up time from the app. To collect the vehicle, the buyer takes a picture of their face to ensure they are the only person who can retrieve the vehicle from the vending machine.

If the consumer changes their mind, they can take out a different model. Consumers who choose to keep the car after a three-day test drive can also receive discounts and other incentives.