In the Chinese Grand Prix, during the race on the Shanghai route, Reneault entered the track showing off its new collaboration with Alibaba Group
The Renault Sport Formula One Team unveiled the latest iteration of their car featuring Tmall’s iconic cat logo. Announced in February, the new car is born from the branding partnership with Tmall. The collaboration includes a new flagship store on the Alibaba-owned B2C marketplace.
Moreover, for Renault, this is one of the many strategies to enter the Chinese market which, according to the company, represents “the top priority“. Cyril Abiteboul, managing director of Renault Sport Racing, said: “China has been identified as a market of strategic importance, and partnering with high-profile companies like Alibaba’s Tmall will provide opportunities to significantly improve Renault brand awareness and opinion, starting with the Chinese Grand Prix in April and continuing throughout the year”.
Of course, Alibaba also has its interests. The e-commerce giant, in fact, wants to conquer the car market with its “auto vending machine” model. For this reason it also has close partnerships with Ford, BMW, Volvo, Maserati and Alfa Romeo.
Lu Huan, marketing director of Tmall’s automotive division, said: “A global sporting event such as the FIA Formula 1 World Championship is a great opportunity to boost awareness of the Tmall platform among consumers worldwide, particularly male users”.
But for Tmall there is not only Renault and, according to Lu, attention must also be paid to strategic partners such as Nissan and Mitsubishi: “Initially we would like to explore opportunities on the brand level, while we’re also in discussions regarding programs on the operations side,” he said.
Groupe Renault and Dongfeng Renault joined in a strategic partnership
The support that can give Alibaba also focuses on technological innovations. Liu Bo, marketing director of Tmall, said: “As for Alibaba, we are also proactively exploring how internet technology can be applied to cars. Dongfeng Renault and Autonavi’s close partnership will provide all-new smart internet services, which will be equipped on Renault’s models as early as this year”.
China is also the market in which to invest also in the automotive sector. According to L2, a U.S. business intelligence firm, in fact, China is projected to become the top market for luxury vehicles by 2020.
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