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-storey 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 four-year-son to buy toy cars.
"From there I realised that the Matchbox arrangement is a mini version of our inventories that can be displayed and arranged nicely," he said. From the comfort of a plush sofa on the ground floor, potential buyers can order a Ferrari, Maserati or Lamborghini among other brands, all with the touch of a hand-held 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 since the move to the new premises in December.