Internet giant Alibaba will begin selling MINI cars through its Tmall website. Under the agreement with BMW Group, Alibaba’s Tmall “will become the main e-commerce platform for MINI online car sales in China” and debut new and special-edition models. Alibaba’s new automotive business, Alibaba Automotive, will also help MINI with research and marketing efforts.
Alibaba Automotive will also with Jaguar Land Rover to develop “big data research and e-commerce initiatives aimed at providing efficient and convenient customer service.”
Just a few weeks ago, Amazon Japan also announced the sales of the BMW i3 electric vehicles through its e-commerce platform.
With the online sales of their cars, BMW Group responds to a trend that will increase over time: buying cars online. Despite being a large investment, many consumers want to save time and necessary trips to the dealership when buying a new car. In everyday life, fewer and fewer people take the time to visit a car dealer. In addition, in countries such as China, the trips to the BMW branch can be significantly longer than in Germany.
Alibaba says that 75 MINI cars have been sold so far.
Alibaba shares fell 0.8% to 81.79 in afternoon trading on the stock market today.