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Ford to Test Online Sales in China

Expected to announce partnership with Chinese online giant Alibaba on Thursday.

by on Dec.06, 2017

Up til now, Ford and its Lincoln brand have relied on a relatively conventional dealer model in China.

The vast majority of car buyers around the world now rely on the Internet during at least some part of the shopping process, according to industry data, but Ford Motor Co. is expected to take the next big step this week as it announces a new partnership with Chinese online retail giant Alibaba.

Ford CEO Jim Hackett and Chairman Bill Ford are expected to attend a ceremony in Hangzhou on Thursday where they will be joined by representatives of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. to announce new venture that could include the use of a new “auto vending machine” store concept, reports the Reuters news service.

Global Auto News!

The tie-up, which is also expected to involve at least some of Ford’s existing Chinese dealers, will come just days after the Detroit-based automaker announced plans to launch 50 new vehicles in the booming Asian nation, 15 of them to rely on electrified propulsion technology. Ford is making an aggressive push to expand its presence in China where it lags well behind rivals General Motors and Volkswagen. (more…)

New Ford Website Selling Direct to Consumers

Unfortunately, it’s only for U.K. buyers.

by on Jul.01, 2010

Ford's new U.K. website allows motorists to buy new and used cars directly online.

Hate schlepping from showroom to showroom looking for a new car?  You’re not alone, and Ford Motor Co. hopes to win over the legion of motorists who’d prefer to buy directly online with an all-new website.  The only problem is that it’s only available to buyers in the United Kingdom.

The automaker says its research shows that a whopping 40% of potential customers see no need for a test drive.  So, if they don’t want to kick the tires, they can click a mouse, as our friends at report.


As of this month, U.K. customers can work through 50 dealers – about 8% of the company’s total outlets — who are ready to take their orders directly on line and then deliver a new or used car, truck or crossover through one of 12 pick-up points the maker has set up around the country.

All Ford models will be available through the new process and even technophobes can participate, since the automaker has also set up a call center for those who don’t or can’t send e-mail.

“Consumer are now ready to fully use the Internet in the car industry,” said Steve Hood, managing director of, which is handling the direct sales operation.  “We are now witnessing a significant proportion of Internet customers that both know the car they want and are prepared to buy it direct if the Internet retailer is credible.”