Geely Joins Alibaba's Treasures

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
geely joins alibaba s treasures

Now that Geely has bought Volvo, their founder and chairman Li Shufu is seeking a new challenge. He’s going virtual.

Geely plans to sell cars specially designed for Internet sales at Alibaba, China’s biggest online marketplace, reports state news agency Xinhua.

“If you don’t try, you will never know if it will work or not,” Li told Xinhua on the sidelines of an Internet forum that opened in east China’s Hangzhou City.

Geely wants to offer an online edition of Geely Panda, a micro car popular among China’s young white collar workers. Despite being online, buyers will be able to bring it to their friendly Geely dealer for service.

Xinhua can’t help to add that “even in the United States, GM’s experiment selling cars on eBay in California has met with difficulties. Only 45 sales were logged in the program’s first nine days.”

It also doesn’t help that Alibaba is more a B2B platform, heavily populated by agents who try to hawk products they don’t have. Amongst insiders, it is called “Alibaba and the 40 thieves.” My Beijing blogging buddy Tycho has an uproarious series on his The Tycho car blog, called “Alibaba’s Treasures.” The site to visit when you need a good laugh.

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  • Redliner Redliner on Sep 13, 2010

    Call me crazy, but I think that car buying should work like this: 1. Take a no obligation test drive at a factory owned facility in your area. 2. Go online to an Amazon-like marketplace and compare exact cost down to the last cent. Buy online directly from manufacturer. 3. Pick-up built to order car from manufacture facility, or opt for delivery at your house/work.

    • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Sep 13, 2010

      I agree, but a few complications are: 1. Trade-in - Someone has to independently evaluate your trade. This service could be performed by people licensed in a way similar to accountants. 2. Training - The new owner may need a tutorial on how to use the controls and features. Maybe the deliveryman could do it, but dealers will argue they know better. 3. Dealer-installed options - Factories delegate some of these services today so they don't have to manage them. Mud flaps, floormats, stripes (do they still do that?), some radios, wheel covers, cleanup, etc. would all need some management.

  • Zackman Zackman on Sep 13, 2010

    The car in the photo really makes me laugh! Reminds me of a car a Shriner drives in a parade. Perhaps some cars could revert back to the old ways of doing things like: Ordering a chassis and then contracting with a coach builder for the body style (pillarless hardtop, convertible, sedan, etc). All current safety and emissions laws would apply, of course. Figuring out how to make this affordable is another challenge, however. I like redliner's idea!

  • Jerry Sutherland Jerry Sutherland on Sep 13, 2010

    Is that little orange roadster a current model for sale?

    • Bertel Schmitt Bertel Schmitt on Sep 14, 2010

      Sure. You can buy it in China. If you buy decent quantities, I can arrange the deal. We do that for a living.

      Specs: Electric Car FOB Price:US $5,288 - 5,488 Supply Ability:30 Piece/Pieces per Month Type: Sedan Fuel: Electric Gear Box: Automatic Made In: China Packaging Detail: standard export packing Delivery Detail: 30-35days Specifications: Newly developed fuel-efficient, energy saving vehicle Material: fiber glass Dimensions (mm)(L—W—H): 3400—1480—1150 Seats: 4 Distance per charge (full load): 100-80 km Max speed (km/h): 50 Min. turning diameter: 7.2 Max climbing capability (full load): 15% Wheel base (mm): 2120 Tread (mm): 1225 Storage battery: 48V/150Ah Motor: 3kw Charger: 48V/20Ah Charge time: 6-12h N.W.: 630 kg with battery Breaking distance:(speed 30km/h): 4m Colors: Black, Blue, Yellow, Red, Green, White, Orange Container: 2pcs/20'FCL; 6pcs/40'FCL It's not a Tesla (but you can buy a whole fleet for the price of a Tesla Roadster). It would make for a nice neighborhood electric vehicle. How many containers do you want?

  • Invisible Invisible on Sep 14, 2010

    Dang, that looks like a car from "The Grinch"