Alibaba Group and Ford Motor have inked an agreement to explore new ways of selling cars in China.
Ford will be working with four of Alibaba’s business units - operating-system developer AliOS, cloud computing platform Alibaba Cloud, digital marketing arm Alimama and B2C shopping site Tmall - and will also look at artificial intelligence, infotainment and the Internet of Things (IoT). A pilot study will explore potential New Retail opportunities at various stages of the automotive ownership cycle.
“Alibaba is excited to redefine the consumer journey and user experience for automobiles together with Ford Motor Group,” says Alibaba Group Chief Executive Officer Daniel Zhang. “Our data-driven technology and platform will expand the definition of car ownership beyond just having a mode of transportation and into a new medium for a smart lifestyle.”
The move comes after Ford announced plans to launch 50 new vehicles in China by 2025, including at least 15 electric vehicles, at an event in Shanghai on Tuesday. “China is not only the largest car market in the world, it’s also at the heart of electric vehicle and SUV growth and the mobility movement,” says Ford Motor Executive Chairman Bill Ford. “The progress we have achieved in China is just the start. We now have a chance to expand our presence in China and deliver even more for customers, our partners and society.”