Automotive and transportation industry giant Ford, in conjunction with retail behemoth Alibaba, has apparently planned to jointly help users buy a vehicle using an app and an automobile vending machine.
The machine stands about five-storeys tall and contains 42 cars, of various models, including the Ford Explorer SUV and Mustang. Those with high scores in the system benefit from lower tax rates, more financial opportunities and other benefits like free test drives from the Ford vending machine. All users have to do is pay a fee through Alibaba'sTmall app and then take a selfie through the app to confirm the booking. The process of dispensing one takes about 10 minutes.
With the auto vending machines, the Chinese internet giant is hoping to make 'buying cars as easy as buying a can of Coke, ' according to Alibaba's news website Alizila.
Other than picking up and driving the test vehicle, the entire experience plays out through Alibaba's mobile e-commerce apps.
"The auto vending machine is an important step in Alibaba'sNew Retail push".
For the record, this isn't the first instance where the automotive and transportation industry has been witnessing vehicle dealers set up auto vending machines. Then they can spend the next three days driving it before returning it to the machine.
Once users receive their vehicle, they can test drive it for up to three days, according to Engadget. The general manager of vehicles at Tmall Auto says the sign up is completely mobile on the Tmall or Taobao mobile apps.
In case a buyer is not satisfied with their selection, they can also take out one other auto.
Till April 23, the consumers can sign up on the Tmall or Taobao mobile app, pick up the selected auto through an unmanned auto vending machine in the Center, and get a three-day test drive for full experience of the vehicle before they decide to make the purchase.
In 2016, Alibaba sold 100 Maserati cars in 18 seconds during a flash sale on Tmall.
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