Alibaba to Sell Cars in Giant Cat Vending Machines
In early 2016, we featured a car vending machine planned in the US by online used-car dealership, Carvana. Then in the summer, we came across this supercar vending machine in Singapore. Well, now Alibaba are getting involved in the act with a ‘vending machine for vehicles’ that would make “buying cars as easy as buying a coke.”
If you’re not familiar with Alibaba, they’re essentially the Amazon of China – though maybe slightly more eBay. And they’ve just announced a partnership with Tmall for a giant car vending machine shaped like a cat… because this is the Far East and why the heck not!? Tmall and Alibaba are planning two of these machines to be unveiled in January 2018 with quite an interesting business models!
In order to get your car, you first need to download an app. Then touch a few screens, select your car, schedule a time, head to your nearest giant cat vending machine, use face-recognition technology, watch it drop.
But the really interesting thing is that you’ll get 3 days of test driving before you purchase. Not only that, when those three days are up, your new ride can be purchased right there and then on the phone. Which means no salesmen are needed and you’ll need no real human interaction at all when purchasing a car.
Very little other details have been announced re:insurance etc. But while buying cars from a robot may not appeal to everyone, you can certainly see a market for it. It’s an extremely convenient system if nothing else – and by the sound of it enough for the likes of Ford, Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz to be interested anyway!
Alibaba and Tmall are planning to put two trial giant cat vending machines in Nanjing and Shanghai just after New Year, with dozens more planned across the country. Let’s just hope the cars don’t get stuck in the coil!