Alibaba, Ford in search for new retail business

Alibaba, Ford in search for new retail business

In November, the company announced a $756 million partnership with Anhui Zotye Automobile Co.to build electric vehicles there.

Revenues are expected to grow by 50% over 2017 results.

Ford has struck a deal with Chinese internet giant Alibaba as part of a strategy to boost its presence in the Chinese market.

The expanded product portfolio will reflect an even stronger emphasis on SUVs - with eight all-new utilities, along with more electric vehicles.

Retiring Ford Motor CEO Alan Mulally makes a picture-taking gesture while clowning around with the company's new CEO Mark Fields, center, and Ford executive chairman Bill Ford Jr.at the Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn on May 1.

A joint venture between US auto maker Ford and its Chinese counterpart Zotye is expected to manufacture full electric vehicles by September 2019.

Those cars could come directly from Ford or from its dealers but the details were still to be worked out. "Each of them will be safe, efficient, fun to drive and backed by an ecosystem that makes charging, sharing and servicing easy".

Ford Motor intends to locally assemble five more automobiles in China for Chinese consumers beginning in 2019, including the firm's first worldwide all-electric small SUV. Company leaders also are working on broader infrastructure opportunities to improve future mobility experiences. The agreement lasts three years. The Apollo Open Platform accelerates the development, testing and deployment of autonomous vehicles.

Hackett added, "Ford's aspiration is to become the world's most trusted mobility company, designing smart vehicles for a smart world". "The progress we have achieved in China is just the start".

Producing vehicles locally speeds time to market, while providing greater opportunities to fully leverage the local supply base.

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

In the latest move, Chinese banking authorities announced new loan policies to allow buyers of new-energy vehicles to borrow a larger portion of the purchase price.

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.

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