Ali Baba wants you to buy cars from vending machines
Car dealerships. Do we even need them? Well, according to Chinese e-commerce goliath, Ali Baba, not for much longer.
Earlier this week, Ali Baba announced that they will be introducing vending machines for cars as early as next year. Yes, a vending machine to buy cars, and no you can’t shake it for a free one.
If you're still thinking that this is a 'pie in the sky' idea, well be aware that earlier this year the Singapore-based company Autobahn Motors actually opened a 15-storey vending machine showroom that houses 60 cars including Bentleys, Ferraris and Lamborghinis. To browse the cars you can simply go to Autobahn’s website a swipe through the selection available. Pick the car you want, make a call to the dealership, and then watch your future car go down the 15-storey building through an automatic system.
The credit for this idea belongs to ‘Carvana’, the American company established the first-ever fully automated car dealership in late 2016. Carvana has an interesting mechanism, through which the customer is given a coin by the Carvana-assistant, the coin is inserted through a slot which runs a touch-screen, allowing customers to get through information regarding the car and for them to make a choice. The car is then delivered through a driver-less system.
Ali Baba, however, plans to make the system completely automated. Saving the company costs of space and staff, with an app for customers to download through which they select the car which is then which then releases the car from a vertical display tower.
General Manager of Ali Baba’s automotive division believes that the era of online car shopping has arrived and that the new automotive retail model “will make buying cars as easy as buying a can of Coke”.
Will the cars be as cheap as can of coke ? Probably, not.