Ford, Alibaba roll out test-drive services via "auto vending machine"
Shanghai (Gasgoo)- Ford Motor and Changan Ford (Ford Motor's joint venture with Changan Auto) join hands with Tmall auto platform (one of Alibaba's businesses) to unveil an all-new test-drive project in Guangzhou on March 26.
From now until April 23, Ford will provide consumers with test-drive services in a building with a designed function like an automotive vending machine that is located in Baiyun District, Guangzhou. The building, dubbed “super test-drive centre”, is an Alibaba's facility that lets its Tmall customers browse and book test drives. The building is equipped with the intelligent lifting system and advanced identity authentication system, which can hold a maximum of 42 vehicles at the same time.
Ford Motor, Changan Ford and Jiangling Motors (JMC) will offer consumers up to 10 Ford-branded models to have test drives, including locally-produced models like the sedan models Taurus, New Mondeo, the SUV models Kuga, Edge and Everest, imported models like the full-size SUV Explorer and the classic American-style roadster Ford Mustang, etc.
Users can book a test drive via the Alibaba's Taobao mobile app or the Tmall platform. Entering a key word of “super test drive”, users can follow the instructions from the interface to select the vehicles they want and the time to have the test drive. To schedule a test drive, users should submit their basic information and upload their selfies on the platform. Besides, they need to pay some test-drive fees and the money for vehicle-purchasing intention. After all these done, consumers can pick up their test vehicle via a facial recognition at the “super test-drive center” in Guangzhou to enjoy a three-day ride.
It is noteworthy that the Tmall auto platform, relying on Alibaba's digital technologies and big data advantage, will assess consumers’ potential purchasing power judging from their points of Zhima Credit and the rating of Taoqizhi so as to gather potential buyers with the intention of purchasing Ford-branded vehicles.
In December last year, Alibaba had unveiled two “super test-drive centers” in Shanghai and Nanjing. The newly started center in Guangzhou is the first time for Tmall auto platform to build an exclusive partnership with an auto brand.
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