Ford opens cat-themed auto vending machine in China

  • Ford opens cat-themed auto vending machine in China

Ford opens cat-themed auto vending machine in China

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.

Ford and Alibaba signed a three-year collaboration partnership last December, allowing the USA auto maker various new retail opportunities, from pre-sales, test drives and leasing options, through Tmall.

The joint venture has opened a Super Test-Drive Centre in Guangzhou, offering three-day test-drives to potential buyers researching their next purchase, allowing them to choose from more than 100 vehicles, including the Explorer SUV, Mustang, Edge and Everest models.

Automobiles withdrawn from the machine can be test-driven for three days before the car's renter will have to commit to purchasing it.

The e-commerce giant is no stranger to selling cars online and via mobile apps. They then take a selfie with the app, which is used to confirm their booking at the test-drive centre.

Alibaba said users of Tmall, Alibaba's flagship online shopping platform, with good credit scores can buy a auto from the machine, without any human help, in under 10 minutes.

At the time, Alibaba said it had plans to build dozens of auto vending machines in cities in China over the next 12 months.

Designed as part of the "Super Test Drive" experience, the massive vending machine is located in the Baiyun District of Guangzhou and holds up to 42 vehicles at a single time.

There is no salesperson at the location of the vending machine and everything is done through the app.

"If we lengthen the duration of test-drives, consumers can make buying decisions with more confidence and ease", Cao said. Last year, Autobahn Motors opened a 15 story vehicle vending machine. Incidentally, the company had recently made it to the headlines for its plan to construct a seven-storied vehicle vending machine in Chesterfield.

People can buy cars from a smartphone app in under ten minutes. If a user decides to purchase a vehicle, then their test drive fee will be refunded.