Contactless car key delivery

Is it just coincidence that Wuhan is famous not only for the first covid cases … but also for being home to so many of China’s vehicle manufacturing facilities?

Wuhan is soon, we’re told, to be hosting another production plant within the next year – this time for Geely Auto.

However, thanks to Wuhan’s well-known virus keeping customers away from showrooms, new car sales in China definitely plummeted – the China Passenger Car Association quoted an 80% drop, and who’s going to argue with that? Well, Geely Auto, for a start.

Geely – still selling well

Geely’s new car sales haven’t exactly dropped that drastically, since over 10,000 people have ordered, paid for and received delivery of brand spanking new Geely models – including their new Icon SUV. This has, as standard, an in-car air filtration system rated to block at least 95% of airborne bacteria and, of course, viruses, as long as they’re larger than 0.3 microns.

But those 10,000 people who’ve put their money where their mouth is and made their purchase are somewhat of a drop in the ocean compared to the 110,000+ people registering an interest in buying a Geely vehicle in the near future.

Online and truly contactless sales

So why has Geely done so well? It’s the magic of online vehicle sales: you log in, select your options and accessories, set up your preferred finance and insurance schemes, make your initial payment, log out again … and then wait for “contactless” home delivery.

And by “contactless” we really do mean a complete lack of contact between vendor and purchaser: there is absolutely no physical handover – of anything.

Obviously the local Geely dealership makes sure the new vehicle matches all the customer’s specifications, and once all the boxes are ticked the car is given a thorough cleaning and disinfection before being transported (not driven) to the customer’s address.

And as for the keys?

Ah, you may be thinking, but what about handing over the keys? Without touching them? How does that work? 

Good question. Geely is a company with a finger in quite a few pies: obviously there’s the automobile side of things (their new plant in Wuhan will have the capacity to produce over 150,000 vehicles a year) … they already own Volvo and Lotus … they’re looking at releasing their first Geely-brand smartphone next year … and, most relevant to delivering keys, they’re heavily involved with German company Volocopter GmBH.

Geely and Volocopter are working together to bring flying cars to China in the near future, but in the meantime Geely are producing their own Aoshi X-Chimera25 UAV, a 25-kilogram drone that can stay airborne under full power for six hours.

And that should be a clue.

Something in the air …

And now, back to the question of how Geely delivers the keys to a new car owner without any human contact. Simple: they deliver those keys… by drone. Well, not one of the company’s 25kg unmanned aircraft. It can’t exactly hover over a balcony or in a doorway like a much smaller quadcopter can, while the proud new car owner retrieves the cleaned and disinfected keys suspended beneath it.

Our alternative

To us, it seems like a great idea – in theory. In practice, though, we have a much simpler alternative to the airborne delivery of car keys we’ve repaired, replaced, duplicated and/or reprogrammed. After all, a sudden gust of wind can easily blow a small quadcopter seriously off course. 

So if you’re anywhere in London or the Home Counties, it’s just a simple matter of making a single phone call to let us know where you are and what you need when it comes to your car key requirement. It could even be just unlocking your vehicle because your keys are securely locked inside it. Whatever you need, we’ll be with you within an hour to get you sorted out.

But if you’re further away than that, give us a call and we can talk you through our speedy, fully-insured courier key service. It won’t be as spectacular as a quadcopter hovering outside your front door, granted – but then again, at least there’s no chance of an unexpected gust of wind suddenly delivering your new car key somewhere completely different!