Vending Machine Distributes Ford Vehicles in China
Yes, you read that right. If you live in China and you have good credit, you can get a new Ford to test-drive free for three days.
Ford Motor Company has teamed up with the online commerce experts from Alibaba to introduce a cat-themed vending machine in Guangzhou, China. If you have good enough credit, you can arrange a free three-day test drive through Alibaba’s TMall app and you pick up your new Ford test vehicle from the automated parking structure-turned-giant vending machine named the “Super Test-Drive Center.”
How the Super Test-Drive Center Works
Say that you live in China and you are interested in test driving to potentially buy a new Ford product. You could go to your local dealership, or you can schedule a free three-day test drive that you pick up from a gigantic vending machine with feline décor.
Using the Alibaba TMall app on your smartphone, you simply pick which Ford vehicle you are interested in driving, you schedule a pick-up time, you add a photo of yourself and you make a small electronic deposit. We do not know how much the deposit is, but considering that these are being advertised as free test drives, it is likely more of a security deposit that will cover the company’s insurance deductible if you don’t bring the car back.
Once you have made your appointment, sent in the deposit and your photo, you simply head to the “Super Test-Drive Center” where the automated vehicle vending machine delivers whichever Ford you chose. By using your identification and the image sent in through the app, the system signs you in and delivers the vehicle from the robotic parking structure. Once you have the car, you can spend three days making your daily rounds or even a long road trip, so long as you return the vehicle at the end of your three-day drive.