Italian car maker Alfa Romeo announced they are utilizing blockchain technology in their new electric vehicles, verifying service records done by Alfa Romeo technicians with NFTs. This incorporation of blockchain technology is validating whether or not work done to a vehicle was done by an Alfa Romeo technician.
The NFTs will be exclusive to the Alfa Romeo Tonale, a plug-in hybrid SUV that is set to launch at the end of 2022.
“Digitalization is a key enabler of our metamorphosis,” Francesco Calcara, Head of Marketing at Alfa Romeo, said in a briefing about the company’s new models. “[The NFTs] will sustain the residual values of our models as we are the first in the market to adopt this next-generation technology.”
Residual values are what the car manufactures determine their cars will be worth on the used car market in years to come. When leasing, this is the optional-buyout price of the car after the lease is complete. If a solid record of Alfa Romeo service can be held on the blockchain, customers will be more likely to pay more for a used Alfa Romeo, thus making their residual values higher and their predictions more accurate.
The innovation provides a solution in the auto industry to the long time problem of manufacturers dealing with work done by outside mechanics. When things aren’t covered by warranty, customers will quickly turn to local or third party mechanics to get the work done at a cheaper rate. When this is done on vehicles that are leased or financed with the intention of trading in, car manufacturers are taking in vehicles that have a misleading service history.
The NFTs will create a database of exactly when, where, and what type of work was to be done on particular Alfa Romeo vehicles. If a customer or potential buyer wants to verify work done on the car was done by an Alfa Romeo certified technician, they can ask to see the NFTs associated with the work.
The announcement is a great marketing move, as crypto and auto communities haven’t found a reason to mesh as of yet. After announcing that the company will shift to all electric cars by 2027, Alfa Romeo may be trying to make a name for themselves as the ‘crypto car’ down the road.