Web and wheels will meet as China’s SAIC Motor plans an Alibaba-connected car
April 6, 2015 10:54 AM
(Bloomberg)—SAIC Motor Corp. will introduce a connected car jointly developed with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. in August 2016, part of efforts by Chinese automakers to integrate Internet technology with vehicles.
The company will unveil a production model rather than a concept that may take years before being ready for manufacturing, according to Gu Feng, the company’s financial controller. SAIC also plans to more than double the number of new-energy vehicles sold to 13,400 units this year from 6,000 last year.
Automakers have announced tie-ups with Internet companies as Premier Li Keqiang said last month that China will promote development in areas such as mobile Internet, cloud computing and big data in order to integrate the Internet of Things concept with manufacturing and foster an “innovation-led economy.”
Baidu Inc., China’s leading search engine, has said it may introduce an autonomous car this year, while Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Leshi Internet Information & Technology (Beijing) Co. also announced plans to develop cars.
Separately, SAIC plans to set up sales units in Russia, Australia, the Middle East and South America as part of its overseas expansion, before considering the feasibility of starting local production, Gu said.