Buying a car should be as easy as buying a soda, according to Alibaba CEO Jack Ma. That is why the Chinese retailer has plans to sell cars from enormous automated machines.
Two openings planned
It was no secret that Alibaba has ambitions to break into the car industry. One step is its deal with Ford to sell electric cars in China. However, the company aims to go one step beyond, with huge vending machines that sell cars through a smartphone app.
How does it work? Consumers with Alibaba’s Taobao app can scan any car, even one passing in the street, they wish to try out. A selfie actually registers a trial run. Once they reach the vending machine, they can pick up the car and drive around with the car for three days. If they like it, they can buy it on Taobao or return it to try out another car.
Alibaba says it will open two stores in January, one in Shanghai and another in Nanjing. The ultimate goal is to simplify a car purchase down to what one needs to do to buy a can of soda. The company aims to open dozens of additional vending machines in 2018. The video below demonstrates how one would go about such a purchase.