BMW, MINI and Jaguar Will Sell Their Cars Online in China via Alibaba

You probably heard of Alibaba by now. It’s China’s alternative to eBay and Amazon, possibly combined in terms of business and you can basically find anything on it, including cars in the near future.
MINI JCW on sale on 1 photo
Photo: screenshot from Youtube
At the Shanghai Auto Show 2015, the Chinese giant signed agreements with BMW, MINI and Jaguar Land Rover to expand the sales of the three companies into e-commerce. The trio signed a memorandum of understanding according to Forbes, establishing that will be the main e-commerce platform for cars made by the group.

At the same time, Jaguar Land Rover did the same but in their case, the website will also gather valuable info regarding car buying habits, financing and after-sale services.

This wouldn’t be the first time Alibaba sells cars online. As a matter of fact, the Chinese company has been doing so for quite some time. Just in 2014 alone, around 120,000 cars were sold via, spread across 50 car brands and 10,000 dealerships.

At the same time, this wouldn’t be a premiere for BMW either. The i3 has been on sale on Amazon in Japan for quite some time now, and the same was done in other parts of the world as well, including the US.

What makes this important is the context in which the decision was made. BMW had problems for quite some time with the image its MINI sub-brand has in the communist country, most people perceiving the cars as ‘feminine’.

Not only that but the market in China is slowing down, close to a halt these days and the Germans are looking for new ways to keep their cash flow going, especially since their cars are extremely overpriced over there.

It seems like it’s going to work too, as Alibaba said that they already sold 75 MINIs online.
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