- Geely has announced it will deliver a newly purchased car to a customer, disinfect it, then use a drone to deliver the keys for a complete no-contact buying experience.
- The automaker also recently announced it’s selling an SUV, the Icon, with an N95-rated filtration system.
- Since launching in February, Geely’s online purchasing system has delivered 10,000 cars in China.
Geely, the Chinese automaker maker and parent company of Volvo and Lotus, is taking its customers’ safety very seriously when it comes to the potential for infection. Last month, it announced that its Icon electric SUV will ship with an N95-rated in-car filtration system. Now the automaker’s online marketplace and home delivery has a new twist: contactless key delivery via a drone.
Geely has been selling vehicles to China’s buyers through its online marketplace since February. Part of the delivery is having the cars disinfected when they arrive at the customer’s house. For a completely contactless experience, the automaker is offering key dropoff by drone, explaining: “The new system will now use drones in select locations to pass new car keys to consumers by delivering directly to their door or balcony, furthering the distance between staff and consumer and creating a truly contactless process.”
The online store has already delivered 10,000 vehicles; deals closed online are transferred to local dealers that then disinfect the vehicles and drop them off at customers’ homes. Now it looks like those dealers will have to train someone on staff to fly a drone to drop off a set of keys without running into a customer’s house—or into the customer.
How or if any of this disinfecting of cars will trickle down to Volvo or Lotus is unclear as of now. But Volvo and Polestar have both implemented non-traditional ways to purchase or lease vehicles. Care by Volvo customers can choose their vehicle via an app and Polestar will setup retail spaces similar to the Apple Store for its vehicles. Meanwhile, startups and dealerships in the United States are figuring out the best way to sell vehicles while many are sheltered in place, using the internet and home delivery.