Features
6 Mar 24

E-Commerce on wheels? IM Motors prompts the question

Keeping track of the new automotive brands entering our roads can be daunting for fleet managers. The challenge becomes even bigger when attempting to decipher the complex web of relationships between these newcomers and their parent companies, sister enterprises, or other affiliations. Enter IM Motors, the latest contender in this dynamic arena.

Affiliation Dynamics

IM Motors sits under the umbrella of the established SAIC Motor Corp., Ltd. For those aware of the Chinese ecosystem, SAIC Motor Corp., Ltd. rings a bell as an important OEM. Its portfolio contains well-known names like MG, Maxus, and Wuling (officially "Saic-GM-Wuling"), alongside a diverse array of lesser-known automotive manufacturers. Beyond its house brands, SAIC is renowned for its joint ventures with industry giants Volkswagen Group and General Motors, serving as a manufacturing hub for models destined for the Chinese market. In 2023 alone, SAIC's sold close to 3 million units, underscoring its colossal presence.

IM Motors: Pioneering Intelligence in Motion

The latest venture, IM Motors, epitomizes innovation under the banner of "Intelligence in Motion." A collaboration involving SAIC Motor, Alibaba Group, and Zhangjiang Hi-Tech, IM Motors sets its sights on producing vehicles aimed to challenge Tesla's dominance. Unveiled at the 2021 Shanghai Motor Show, the brand showcased three models designed to captivate the global audience, with an emphasis on luxury and cutting-edge technology.

Funding

IM Motors recently unveiled the results of its B-Round equity financing, drawing support from a diverse range of stakeholders, including financial institutions, governmental bodies, battery titan CATL, and autonomous driving trailblazer Momenta. This eclectic mix of backers underscores IM Motors' strategic positioning as a mix of e-commerce, battery technology, and autonomous driving, offering a glimpse into the future trajectory of the automotive industry.

Enter the Era of Automotive Versatility

While traditional automotive brands persist in conceiving cars as standalone products, a shift is underway with emerging OEMs, that view vehicles as “multifaceted platforms” for diverse activities. In this new reality, the car transcends its conventional role of bringing people from A to B, seamlessly integrating into our daily lives as an extension of our environment.

In short: the car will be a place where we consume and share data. With commercial collaborations already in motion, the stage is set for the automotive landscape to evolve into a lifestyle ecosystem, reshaping how we interact with our vehicles and redefining the concept of mobility.  

With this transition, the protection of personal data becomes even more important; in the case of IM Motors, will Alibaba know what your next purchase will be?

Authored by: Yves Helven