Ford teams up with Alibaba in China to sell cars online
The American car manufacturer Ford Motor intends to sign an agreement with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd allowing it to test online car sales for the consumers in China through the online retail division of Alibaba – Tmall – and also by way of their new concept “car vending machine”, according to sources which wanted to remain anonymous.
Representatives of Ford, namely Bill Ford Jr. the executive chairman and Jim Hackett chief executive will meet in Hangzhou with Alibaba’s representatives to sign the intent letter on their new partnership, according to some sources. Moreover, they added that the car purchased online shall be delivered to their future owners through Ford stores operated through the franchising system, where the cars are also going to be repaired.
Instead, Ford intends to make use also of new concept of Tmall – “car vending machine” – in order to sell directly to the consumers. Cars may be delivered directly from Ford or through its dealers, but details still need to be put in place, according to the sources. In the first ten months of 2017, Ford sales in China have decreased by 5%, to 938.570 units.
Recently, Ford has announced it will launch 50 new cars in China until 2025, including 15 electric models, in order to increase their car sales worldwide. The biggest worldwide car manufacturers increasingly invest in electric cars, and William C. Ford Jr., Executive Chairman of Ford, argued that the future belongs to China.
“When I think of where electric vehicles are going it’s clearly the case that China will lead the world in electric vehicles (EV) development”, outlined the Ford official in an event which took place in Shanghai.
The Government in Beijing, in an attempt to tackle the issue of air pollution and reduce dependence on oil imports, offers subsidies to global auto manufacturers to stimulate electric car development.
Peter Fleet, president of Ford for Asia Pacific operations, estimated that the American company’s revenues obtained in China will increase by 50% until 2025, following the launching of the new 50 cars. Ford Motor employs 197.000 people in 67 car factories worldwide. The second largest car maker in the USA, Ford is also present on the Romanian market.