Written by Fred Bailey
Alibaba has an amazing scheme for 2018. The company intends to jump-start two colossal car vending machines, one in Shanghai and the other in Nanjing.
And you won’t have to deal with salesmen.
You do need a smartphone app. You pick out a car online, personalizing it with touch-ups here and there, and a giant vending machine rotates your choice out of a mammoth garage.
You put down a deposit, and then—believe it or not, you can take the car out for a test spin for three days!
If you decide to buy, you complete the sale. But if you want something different, you can start all over again with a new car.
If you’re a member of Alibaba, you’re allowed five test drives per month. That’s 15 days! Half a month!
In the meantime, Ford has signed a deal with Alibaba to come up with 15 electric car models for China by 2025.
This idea is pretty impressive, but it does have a lot in common with an American start-up, Carvana, founded a little over three years ago in Arizona. It’s an online-only used car dealer, featuring a car vending machine that’s eight stories tall: “Vending fresh cars daily!”
Here’s a link to a 30-second Carvana video: