Giant Vending Machine Doles Out Fords in China

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Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has tied up with American automaker Ford to unveil a auto vending machine.

The Super Test-Drive Center is offering over 100 Ford cars for the Chinese consumers.New Delhi: Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group and USA carmaker Ford have unveiled auto vending machine in China's southern city Guangzhou.

You see not just anyone can walk up and try the cars, instead if you want to walk up and test drive one for free you'll need to have an Alibaba credit rating of 700 or above.

Buying a Ford vehicle in China is about to get incredibly futuristic.

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The partnership on the new Tmall Super Test-Drive Center in Guangzhou marks an important step towards a buying experience that fully integrates the best of the online and physical worlds for Chinese consumers. Other partners have yet to be announced, but Alibaba is eyeing Beijing and Hangzhou as possible locations for the next phase.

"It will make buying cars as easy as buying a can of Coke", said Yu Wei, general manager of Tmall's automotive division. Users who wish to buy the auto need to put down only a 10 percent payment, and financing will be arranged through an Alibaba affiliate, notes the report.

The multi-story vehicle vending machine in Guangzhou city marks the first phase of a plan to transform the traditional car-shopping model, according an Alibaba-owned news site.

"Once a Ford vehicle is chosen, consumers snap a selfie to ensure that they are the only person who can take the auto, put down a deposit electronically, and schedule a pickup time, all from within the app", he added.

If not totally satisfied, a customer will be allowed to swap cars and can take a total of two vehicles for test driving, provided that both are of different models.

"Consumers can use the internet to access more accurate, convenient services and get a deeper understanding into particular vehicles".

The vending machine will be open to the public from Monday to April 23. Through their Tmail app, consumers can apparently take a auto for a three-day test drive. In 2016, Maserati sold 100 cars in 18 seconds during a flash sale on Tmall.

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