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Vending Machines for Cars in China



(p. B2) GUANGZHOU, China-- Eric Zhou is interested in buying a Ford Kuga sport-utility vehicle. So last week, he picked up the car for a three-day test drive from a vending machine.

Mr. Zhou never visited a dealership or spoke to a salesperson. He booked the test drive online, then showed up at a service center where employees can identify would-be buyers using facial-recognition technology. His SUV was then delivered from the eight-story "vending machine"--essentially an automated parking garage.

"This is so much more efficient and convenient than traditional dealerships," said Mr. Zhou, 38 years old.

It's the first of several such car-vending centers that Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. plans to open across China this year--part of the company's latest effort to translate its success in online retailing to the physical shopping world.



For the full story, see:

Liza Lin. "Car-Vending Machine Is Rolled Out." The Wall Street Journal (Friday, April 6, 2018): B2.

(Note: the online version of the story has the date April 5, 2018, and has the title "To Buy a Car in China, Hit the Vending Machine.")






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