China: Alibaba’s connected vehicle to be delivered by SAIC in August 2016 image

Chinese automaker SAIC Motor Corp. has been tasked to officially premiere a connected car that was developed together with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. in August 2016.

Chinese carmakers are joining the race towards increasingly technological autos, with integrated Internet technology becoming a key selling point for the younger generation of drivers. Gu Feng, the company’s financial controller, said the carmaker will skip the usual introduction of a concept vehicle in order to lower the time period needed to develop afterwards the production series model. Chinese automakers are flocking to partner with Internet companies after Premier Li Keqiang announced last month the country wants to support the development in reas such as mobile Internet, cloud computing and big data. Their end goal is to integrate the “Internet of Things” concept with the country’s manufacturing prowess in a bid to develop an “innovation-led economy.” In similar moves, Baidu has been even more bullish, saying it wants to premiere an autonomous vehicle before the year’s end. Additionally, Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Leshi Internet Information & Technology Co. announced their own, separate, plans to develop automobiles.

In related news SAIC also said it wants to more than double the deliveries of new-energy vehicles (China’s moniker for plug-in hybrids and electrics, either battery or fuel cell operated) from 6,000 vehicles in 2014 to 13,400 units. In addition, the automaker also wants to expand its presence by setting up sales divisions in Russia, Australia, the Middle East and South America – also considering in the future the probability of local production in those regions.

Via Bloomberg