A “Car Vending Machine” Has Opened in Guangzhou

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12:30 AM HKT, Wed March 28, 2018

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has teamed up with American automaker Ford to open a “car vending machine” in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou.

Officially put into business yesterday, the Tmall-branded tower allows customers with the appropriate app to take a Ford car for a three-day test drive without any pesky human interactions.

The process can reportedly take as little as ten minutes and costs from 99-198RMB, though users with the appropriate credit score can take a Mustang, Explorer SUV, Edge, or Everest for a spin for free.

The “Super Test Drive Center” project, initially announced in August last year, is being billed by the companies as “the ultimate try-before-you-buy experience.” It’s also a clever promotional activity of course, and – if you live in Guangzhou – potentially a good way of getting out of town for the weekend without having to pay for car rental.

You can see the initiative in action in this promo video from the Alibaba Group:

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