Ford and Alibaba explore strategic collaboration
Ford Motor Company and Alibaba Group aid that they agreed to explore a strategic collaboration "to jointly identify new opportunities to redefine consumer retail experiences and explore solutions for sustainable mobility."
Under the three-year agreement, both companies will jointly explore areas of cooperation that they believe are re-shaping the automotive industry in China and around the world. Ford will cooperate with Alibaba’s four business units in operation system, cloud computing, digital marketing, and online retail, respectively—namely AliOS, Alibaba Cloud, Alimama, and Tmall—and jointly explore various areas including mobility services, connectivity, cloud computing, artificial intelligence and digital marketing.
“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,’’ said Jim Hackett, Ford’s President and CEO.
“Alibaba is excited to redefine the consumer journey and user experience for automobiles together with Ford Motors,” said 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 smart lifestyle.”
In the initial phase, Ford and Alibaba will explore a pilot study on digital solutions for new retail opportunities at various stages of the automotive ownership cycle, from pre-sales and test drives to leasing options.
The companies say they are investigating ways that mobility technology could redefine online retail marketing, distribution strategies, cloud connectivity, and infotainment services. Alibaba says it will gain from Ford’s automotive leadership of running complex global operations developing, manufacturing, and selling vehicles globally. Ford says it can leverage Alibaba’s resources that include new retail services, Internet of Things solutions, cloud computing, and data technologies.