In 2016, Alibaba managed to sell 100,000 cars in 1 day, which surprisingly equates to the sales of 1,000 Chinese dealerships in 1 month. This online capability that the Chinese e-commerce and retail conglomerate has is so robust that Ford Motor Company has signed in a Letter of Intent to work with them hand-in-hand.
The contract involves a 3-year agreement to jointly reshape the automotive industry in China and around the world. The American automaker will work hand-in-hand with 4 of Alibaba's business units: AliOS for operation system, Alibaba Cloud for cloud computing, Alimama for digital marketing, and Tmall for online retailing.
“China is one of the world’s largest and most dynamic digital markets, thriving on innovation with customers’ online and offline experiences converging rapidly. Collaborating with leading technology players builds on our vision for smart vehicles in a smart world to reimagine and revolutionize consumers’ mobility experiences.’’
Part of the collaboration, both companies will derive new strategies and technologies for connectivity, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, mobility services, and digital marketing. Initially, both companies will conduct a pilot study on digital solutions for new opportunities, from pre-sales and test drives to leasing options.
In addition, the collaboration is fairly beneficial for both companies. The retail and e-commerce expertise of Alibaba will help Ford access new strategies in online retail marketing, distribution, as well as cloud and infotainment services. Alibaba, on the other hand, will be granted with Ford's hundred-years of legacy in the automotive world – letting the Chinese company explore vehicle manufacturing and global sales.