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An Alibaba partnership will drive more online car sales in China

August 5, 2015 12:22 PM
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(Bloomberg)—Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. pushed deeper into the car distribution business by partnering with a Chinese dealership group to provide online car sales.

Under the deal, Alibaba’s Tmall e-commerce site will host a virtual dealership run by China Yongda Automobiles Services Holdings Ltd., according to the companies. To kick off the partnership, a Chevrolet Epica will be offered at a discount of as much as 40% through the online marketplace. The tie-up will also cover areas such as servicing, car financing, parallel imports and standardized nationwide pricing.

Yongda distributes brands including Bentley and Jaguar Land Rover and will offer the luxury brands through the Tmall site in future, according to Wang Licheng, who heads Alibaba’s car division. The two companies plan to have 200 service points within two years for customers to pick up their cars after ordering them online.

Traditional car dealerships are building their online presence to cater to the changing shopping habits of Chinese consumers, who can buy everything from shoes, refrigerators and now automobiles over the Internet.

 

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