9 Mar 18

Renault strengthens Alibaba ties for China sales push

Renault has strengthened its partnership with Chinese online retail giant Alibaba, as part of its plan to boost sales in China five-fold. 

As part of the deeper partnership between the French automaker and Alibaba, Chinese consumers will be able to buy Renault cars via Tmall (pictured), Alibaba's online retail portal. 

Connectivity software
Another part of the agreement with Alibaba entails that from this year, Alibaba will install its connectivity software in the locally-sold Koleos and Kadjar SUVs. 

The announcement was made by François Provost, Chairman of Groupe Renault's business in the Asia-Pacific region. He confirmed that Renault counts on China as its main source of growth for the years to come. 

550,000 vehicles
Specifically, Renault seeks to increase its China sales five-fold over the next five years. By 2022, Renault aims to sell 550,000 vehicles in China, as part of its overall ambition to increase revenue globally by 40% by 2022. 

In order to boost its Chinese sales, Renault is working with a team of 600 local engineers to develop nine new models for production in China, three of them pure-electric vehicles.

Renault's remarkable commitment to Alibaba is just one of several examples of car manufacturers building alliances with Chinese tech giants in order to position themselves to maximise future profits on the promising Chinese market. 

DiDi Chuxing
Before Renault did so, Ford also allied itself to Alibaba, in order to revive its flagging sales in China. And Renault itself, with its alliance partners Nissan and Mitsubishi, recently signed a pact with DiDi Chuxing to explore its car-sharing options in China. 

In a separate development – also in partnership with Ford – Tmall announced earlier this year that it would start 'vending' cars via machines in malls. Consumers can then use their phones to browse through the available models and have the selected car automatically delivered to street level. 

Authored by: Frank Jacobs