Ford, Alibaba Sign Letter of Intent for Three-Year Collaborative Agreement

It is further evidence of a new strategy being pursued by Ford boss Jim Hackett, who took over the reins as chief executive from Mark Fields earlier this year.

Optimistic on the outlook, the US vehicle maker earlier announced a joint venture with China's Anhui Zotye Automobile to produce and sell electric cars in China, with plans to launch 15 electric auto models in the country by 2025.

He said the joint venture will bring in impressive technology and competitive costs so that retail customers don't get choked out of the market.

By the end of 2019, 100 percent of new Ford and Lincoln-badged vehicles in China will be connected through either embedded modems or plug-in devices. Company leaders also are working on broader infrastructure opportunities to improve future mobility experiences. The progress they have recorded in China is just the beginning. Collaborating with leading technology players is in line with their vision "for smart vehicles in a smart world to reimagine and revolutionize consumers' mobility experiences", he said in a statement. The Apollo Open Platform accelerates the development, testing and deployment of autonomous vehicles. They now have an opportunity to expand their presence in China and offer even more for consumers, their associates and society.


"Some of our most advanced manufacturing and innovation facilities are here in China", said Peter Fleet, group vice president and president, Ford Asia Pacific.

Ford's China sales have been sluggish in recent months as it struggles to keep pace with rapidly changing trends, including increased demand for entry-level cars in smaller cities. New single distribution services segment meant to release next year, meant to offer an improved experience for consumers and enhanced brand consistency while lowering costs. "The new distribution services division will enable us to offer an enhanced experience for our customers and more closely connect with our dealers and the community".

The model allows shoppers with good credit to purchase their new ride with a 10% down payment and then make monthly payments for the auto purchase through Alibaba's affiliate Alipay, according to Alibaba. "They are proof of our dedication to grow our business in China".

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