If You Want To Test Drive A Car In China, Head To This Vending Machine

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba says it wants to make "buying cars as easy as buying a can of Coke"

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If You Want To Test Drive A Car In China, Head To This Vending Machine

Alibaba has tied up with Ford to unveil a car vending machine in China

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has tied up with American automaker Ford to unveil a car vending machine. Alibaba says it wants to make "buying cars as easy as buying a can of Coke" and claims the vending machine will allow customers to pick up a car to test drive in less than 10 minutes and without any help from a human being. The five-floor high, unstaffed car vending machine is located in the southern city of Guangzhou. Similar vending machines are being planned in Beijing and Hangzhou.

According to a video posted on Twitter and YouTube by Alibaba, customers looking to test-drive Ford vehicles can head to the new cat-themed "Super Test-Drive Center." 

The digital vending machine works with Alibaba's Tmall and Taobao app. People swipe through a selection of Ford vehicles on the app (there are reportedly 100 to choose from, including the Explorer SUV, Mustang, Edge and Everest models) and pick the car model they're most interested in test driving. Then, they put down a nominal deposit electronically, schedule a pickup time, and take a selfie so the vending machine can "recognise" them when they pick up the car for a test drive. 

The video shows how vehicles are dispensed from the multistory structure. Alibaba says the process lasts no longer than 10 minutes. Customers can keep the car for three days.
 

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Alibaba is no stranger to selling cars online and via mobile apps. South China Morning Post reports that in 2016, Italian supercar maker Maserati sold 100 cars in 18 seconds during a flash sale on Alibaba's e-commerce platform Tmall.

But this isn't the first vending machine to dispense cars. In Singapore, a 15-floor high vending machine dispenses luxury cars such as Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Bentleys and Porsches. 

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