Dearborn’s Ford Motor Co. and Alibaba Group in China today announced an agreement to explore a strategic collaboration to jointly identify new opportunities to redefine consumer retail experiences and explore solutions for sustainable mobility.
Jim Hackett, Ford’s president and CEO, and Daniel Zhang, Alibaba Group’s CEO, met at Alibaba’s headquarters in Hangzhou, China and witnessed the signing of the Letter of Intent between the two companies. The letter was signed by Jason Luo, chairman and CEO of Ford Motor Co., China, and Simon Hu, senior vice president of Alibaba and president of Alibaba Cloud as a strategic cooperation agreement on behalf of both organizations.
“China is one of the world’s largest and most dynamic digital markets, thriving on innovation with customers’ online and offline experiences converging rapidly,” says Hackett. “Collaborating with leading technology players builds on our vision for smart vehicles in a smart world to reimagine and revolutionize consumers’ mobility experiences.”
In the initial phase, both companies 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. By leveraging both parties’ specialties, the companies will investigate ways to redefine mobility technology and online retail marketing, distribution strategies, cloud connectivity, and infotainment services.
“Alibaba is excited to redefine the consumer journey and user experience for automobiles together with Ford,” says 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.”