BMW and Alibaba form strategic partnership to drive the automaker's digital transformation in China

(From left) BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd sales and marketing senior vice president Sean Green, Alibaba Group vice president and Alibaba Digital Economy enterprise service secretary general Jet Jing, BMW Group China region president and chief executive officer (CEO) Jochen Goller, and Lingyue Digital Information Technology Co Ltd president and CEO Alice Mei.

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 27): BMW and Alibaba signed a memorandum of understanding to form a strategic partnership in Beijing. The partnership seeks to digitise BMW's full business process, and enable dealers to provide an end-to-end and online-to-offline digital experience for customers using Alibaba's operating system.

Alibaba and the Bavarian luxury carmaker will leverage their own resources, and carry out comprehensive cooperation in branding, marketing, channels, end-to-end operations, services, and information technology to name a few.

With this, BMW will be the first auto manufacturer to leverage Alibaba Business Operating System (ABOS). This will enable BMW and its dealerships to accelerate digital transformation of the dealer network in China, with the aim of providing Chinese customers with more premium, convenient and personalised services and digital experiences.

"This system will help accelerate the digital operations across BMW's business segments, aiming to provide end-to-end customer-centric services throughout the product life cycle and high-quality growth by expanding, connecting and serving customers in a more efficient way," said Jet Jing, vice president of Alibaba Group and secretary general of enterprise service for Alibaba Digital Economy.

In addition, with the assistance of Alibaba's membership system, BMW and MINI will launch brands' membership services and marketing campaigns on Alibaba's various online platforms, to enhance customer loyalty, increase their level of activity, and drive business growth.

This will allow customers to purchase BMW and MINI online and even make online reservations for services with their dealers.

BMW and Alibaba will work together with dealers to build BMW's end-to-end operating system, aiming to provide customers with full-link service which integrates "car viewing, car purchasing and car maintenance" on the multiple platforms of Alibaba's ecosystem, such as Taobao, Tmall, Alipay and Amap.

"Cross industry collaboration and open innovation exchange are indispensable in accelerating the ongoing digital transformation of our company. As one of China's leading tech enterprises, Alibaba has unique competencies in terms of digital technologies, large scale customer platforms and channels as well as targeted consumers operations," president and chief executive officer of BMW Group China region Jochen Goller said.

Kathy Fong