Automotive and transportation industry giant Ford, in conjunction with retail behemoth Alibaba, has apparently planned to jointly help users buy a car using an app and an automobile vending machine. The arrangement comprises numerous Ford automobiles at the Super Test Drive Center, a storehouse in a multistory building. Through their Tmail app, consumers can apparently take a car for a three-day test drive. As per reports, this joint initiative comes on the heels of Alibaba’s partnership with Ford in 2016.
As per authentic sources, this vending system uses Alibaba’s service portfolio to lure potential buyers with the promise of discounts and other incentives. The multi-floor vending machine reportedly looks very much like a futuristic building, revolving automobiles in a wheel-like fashion until the car is found. Alibaba’s users will be eligible to book the car and then take it for a spin, post which they can further decide if they want to buy the same or try another one. Test apparently are limited to around 5 per month.
Post its launch in Guangzhou, Alibaba now plans to extend this vending machine service across the Chinese turf. The partnership between Ford and Alibaba further demands the automotive and transportation industry giant to develop 15 hybrid car models for sale in China by 2025. This would further push Ford to race ahead in EV adoption, claim experts.
For the record, this isn’t the first instance where the automotive and transportation industry has been witnessing car dealers set up car vending machines. The U.S. based dealer Carvana also uses a similar method of operation and has set up a popular car vending machine. The arrangement enables users to insert a car to have a car delivered from the machine. Incidentally, the company had recently made it to the headlines for its plan to construct a seven-storied car vending machine in Chesterfield.