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SAIC to offer e-commerce platform for cars

SHANGHAI – SAIC Motor is building an e-commerce platform for cars and plans to launch it on March 28, reported the Shanghai Securities News.

SAIC has become the first OEM to independently set up an e-commerce platform in China.

All SAIC’s vehicles of different brands will be sold on the platform and aftersales services will also be provided. Sales of vehicles from other automakers on the platform might be possible in the future.

With the help of Internet technologies, SAIC plans to transform from a traditional automaker into a comprehensive company which integrates manufacturing and e-services.

SAIC’s dealers can also sell their vehicles on other e-commerce platforms such as tmall.com, bitauto.com and autohome.com.cn, according to a person close to SAIC.

SAIC has invested hundreds of millions of RMB in the platform in the first phase and will increase its investment in accordance with business development.

“There are many e-commerce platforms in China now, but no one can both sell cars online and provide aftersales services offline. SAIC’s resources can make it possible to integrate online sale and offline aftersales services,” said the person.

SAIC started preparation for the platform in 2013 and bought hardware equipment which is worth tens of millions of RMB from Huawei.

SAIC once intended to invest ¥4 billion ($659.2 million) for setting up an e-commerce platform in collaboration with tmall.com under Alibaba Group, but the two companies failed to reach an agreement.

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