SINGAPORE — A vending machine that dispenses luxury cars to well-heeled buyers is the latest space-saving innovation in land-starved Singapore — just don’t try to shake it if it gets stuck.
Used car dealer Gary Hong has taken to displaying his wares in a glass-fronted, 15-story building.
Like choosing a chocolate bar, the buyer can see everything on display, before pressing some buttons and having their choice delivered.
Hong, 45, said he got the inspiration for the new showroom during a trip with his 4-year-old son to buy toy cars.
“From there I realized that the Matchbox arrangement is a mini version of our inventories that can be displayed and arranged nicely,” he told Agence France-Presse (AFP).
From the comfort of a plush sofa on the ground floor, potential buyers can order a among other brands, all with the touch of a handheld device.
Once a selection is made, a promotional video of that car is played on a flat-screen television while the vehicle is automatically transported down by a lift.
“When the customers see a car that is presented in a best way like a beauty pageant, they just decide that this is a winner, and we got a deal,” said Hong, who added that sales have risen by 30 percent.
With a population density ranked by the World Bank to be third highest in the world, land comes at a premium in the tiny city-state.
The company stores between 70 and 80 cars at its facility—an amount that would otherwise require five times the space if the vehicles are parked traditionally, Hong said.
A similar car vending concept currently exists in the United States, through online auto retailer Carvana, which was reported to have five such facilities around the country as of April. —AFP
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