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Car vending machine that's an industry eye-opener

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At Autobahn Motors' showroom at Jalan Kilang in Bukit Merah, which opened last December, customers use a touchscreen on the ground floor to select a car which is brought to them within minutes.

Autobahn Motors
Winning project: Car Vending Machine
Category: Others
Award Tier: SG Mark Gold

WHEN Autobahn Motors' general manager Gary Hong visited Toys 'R' Us with his son a few years ago and saw a display case for Matchbox cars, he was struck with an idea for his own business. That led to the world's largest "vending machine" for cars at the family-owned used car dealership's showroom at Jalan Kilang in Bukit Merah, which opened in December 2016.

With a capacity to hold 60 cars, the building dispenses luxury automobiles, including Ferraris and Porsches and Minis. The S$3 million-facility enabled Autobahn to showcase its cars in an eye-catching manner while scrimping on space. The company had moved to its new location from its previous showroom at Bukit Timah Road, which it had occupied since the business started almost 30 years ago. Mr Hong credits good design for the new showroom's effectiveness in drawing customers, estimating that sales have gone up about 30 per cent since.

"Design has enhanced our ability to present the selling of used cars in an innovative way with the touch of buttons," he said. Customers use a touchscreen on the ground floor to select a car which is brought to them within minutes. "I am always a fan of innovation and creativity. Take the new Changi Airport Terminal 4, which makes the travelling experience exciting right from when you check in." He said that being conferred the SG Mark Gold has endorsed the firm's efforts to bring some innovation and creativity to the car industry here. "It has set a benchmark in design as well as set a new standard in the way we sell cars."

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He added: "I would encourage other companies to participate in the SGMark, as I believe there are many good creators, innovators and designers out there."