Ford To Partner With Alibaba To Sell Cars Online In China
- Author: Darren Santiago Dec 09, 2017,
Dec 09, 2017, 4:46
The two companies will initially conduct a pilot study to explore potential opportunites in New Retail - a reference to the integration of online and offline retailing - at various stages of vehicle ownership, from pre-sales to financial leasing options, Alibaba said in a statement on Thursday.
Earlier this year, Alibaba's retail arm Tmall announced the development of a auto vending machine, in which consumers can use their phone to browse through cars stored in a tall windowed building and have the vehicle brought down to street level via elevator lifts.
Ford is on the verge of inking a deal with Alibaba that will allow the carmaker to sell its vehicles in China through Alibaba's online retail arm Tmall, Reuters reports.
The new partnership was signed in a letter of intent between Hackett and Daniel Zhang, President and CEO of the Alibaba Group, at the Chinese firm's headquarters in Hangzhou.
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Ford Credit did not respond to a request for comment by press time.
Back to Fords on Tmall, the model allows shoppers with good credit to purchase a vehicle with a 10% downpayment, and then make monthly payments via Alibaba's Alipay. Those cars could come directly from Ford or from its dealers but the details are still to be worked out, the source added.
Ford believes dealers would likely agree to this direct retailing model because they still get to service cars sold through Tmall, the Ford source said. As of October, Ford's 2017 vehicle sales were down 5% from the same period in 2016.
Hackett stated that China is one of the world's largest and most vibrant digital markets that are prosperous in the innovation of user's online and offline experiences swiftly.
Ford's sales in the first 10 months of this year were 938,570, a decline of 5 per cent from the same period in 2016, against a 2.2 per cent gains to 3.13 million for hometown rival General Motors.