In 2018, car manufacturer Renault celebrated its 120th birthday. On March 7, Dongfeng Renault held its “Brand Night” in Shanghai and released its “Mid-term Business Plan” for 2022. Renault announced that it has partnered with Alibaba Group in technology and new retail services as a key part of Renault’s “In China, For China” strategy. Dongfeng Renault’s limited edition Tmall models for the company’s 120th anniversary will also have an exclusive kick-off on Tmall this April.
“I am very pleased that Alibaba and Renault have entered a strategic partnership,” said Yunzhong Weng, executive vice president of Dongfeng Renault Automotive Co. Ltd., who believes that the trend of cross-industry alliance for automobiles is becoming more apparent. According to Weng, Renault and Alibaba are working together to share sales channels and service channels, promote cooperation in new retail, and promote development of common services to bring convenience to consumers.
Renault has actively explored the frontiers of unmanned driving, zero-emissions technology and networked automotives, which helps expand the cooperation between Dongfeng Renault and Alibaba. “The increasingly deeper cross-industry integration of internet and automobiles will bring vast opportunities for Renault and Tmall,” said Yu Wei, general manager of Tmall Vehicles. According to Wei, Tmall will be a strong supporter for Renault in brand building, channel expansion, and product innovation.
On Feb. 20, Renault announced that Tmall became its partner for the 2018 World Formula One (F1) Championship. Renault’s 41-year history competing in the F1 includes 170 championships in 650 events. Weng said that by partnering with Tmall, the world’s largest consumer platform, Renault’s popularity will be further enhanced.
In February this year, the Renault Tmall flagship store officially launched to serve as an supplementary sales channel. Koleos, Kadjar and other models are all available on Tmall now. Consumers can apply for test drives, browse models and pay deposits on Tmall, and then experience and purchase the vehicle at more than 200 Renault sales outlets across the country.
Liu Bo, general manager of Tmall’s marketing platform division, said that the deeper cross-industry integration of internet and automobiles driven by IT technologies such as mobile internet, big data, cloud computing and artificial intelligence is highly relevant for Alibaba, who is trying to combine automobiles with internet applications. Amap, one of China’s most popular map apps acquired by Alibaba, has partnered with Dongfeng Renault for smart internet services, and may be seen in Renault models this year.
In December 2017, “Tmall Car Vending Machines” was initially launched in China. Customers can simply search for “Super Test Drive” on Taobao to make a reservation for a car model they like, and then go to the store to scan their face to automatically receive their preassigned key. Customers can enjoy a three-day deep test drive. This strategy could comprehensively reform the China’s auto industry model.
As more young people now buy cars on Tmall, car brands are increasingly choosing to release their new products on there. 350 imported Giulia Milano limited edition cars were sold out in 33 seconds, and 100 Maserati Levante cars were sold out in 18 seconds, creating new records for online sales of luxury car brands.
In the last two years, interactions between Tmall and luxury car brands including Ford, Volvo, Land Rover, Maserati and Alfa Romeo have become more frequent, especially with Tmall’s deepening new retail sales. A new generation of car sales ecosystem is taking shape and upgrading the development of the entire auto industry.