Selling cars via E-Commerce : a new trend in China

Recent growth in car purchases through E-commerce might lead the automobile industry to rethink its sales channels.

Unexpected Growth

The market in the auto industry recently witnessed a significant increase in car purchases through E-commerce. The unexpected growth occurred during the peak period of consumption known as Chinese Single’s Day (Nov 11th) in 2014. Chinese consumers purchased and reserved over 150,000 vehicles (approx. $ 5 Billion). Auto OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) in China was worried as the Chinese auto sales market slowed down by about 7.1% in 2015 due to the stock market panic that occurred during June and July 2015.


Alibaba & Yongda dealu=3204289833,2365643798&fm=21&gp=0

Over the run of the last two years, the auto industry’s interest in e-commerce strategies has been growing gradually. Alibaba (founder of Taobao and Tmall) has furthered its relations with Yongda the Chinese luxury car retailer, offering an e-commerce partnership. Alibaba will host Yongda’s virtual dealership on its Tmall platform. Alibaba’s general manager of the automobile business Wang Licheng explained that the cooperation between the two was a real revolution, as Alibaba is known to appeal to the ordinary, mass-market whereas Yongda has relations with foreign luxury car companies such as Bentley, Jaguar and Land Rover.

Yongda decided to further its relations with the Chinese e-commerce platform as the demand for luxury cars was dropping due to the stock market panic of last year and the devaluation of the Chinese currency. This cooperation will allow Chinese consumers to purchase the Chevrolet Epica (see below) through the Tmall platform for 40% off the retail price. The two are willing to develop the automobile e-commerce offer by adding more brands and more luxurious vehicles to the online virtual dealership. Customers will be then able to pick up their cars in the 200+ Yongda bricks-and-mortar dealerships around China. Auto financing loans and after-sale services will also be provided by the Yongda & Alibaba cooperation.


Second-hand car E-commerce

In China, there has been another recent trend in the automobile industry; the rise of the second-hand car market is a rapidly growing opportunity and several online platforms already benefit from this huge potential market. offers Chinese customers an online platform to trade used cars. This market is expected to take over the Chinese new car market by 2020, as 70% of new car dealerships announced they were unprofitable in 2015. Several factors might even add to this recent second-hand car craze. Firstly, the Chinese market is witnessing a significant increase in the number of middle-class consumers around the country. These people’s assumptions regarding used cars are changing. Secondly, in major cities, restrictions on the number of license plates that are available will lead consumers to think twice before purchasing new cars. They will be more likely to turn to second cars instead.

Furthermore, MyCheBao is not the only platform that has such offers, as the competition is getting stiff in this market with Uxin growing at a strong pace, and the recent partnership between Alibaba and Grand Auto operating an online trade cars auction site.

Real e-commerce opportunity

The recent changes in the Chinese market, in particular, the rise of the middle class and the new consumption habits of the new generations will bolster the ascendance of e-commerce, creating real opportunities for the growth of both used and new cars in e-commerce.

The key to Automotive Marketing in China is E-Reputation

More information about Ereputation in China. 


1 comment

  • We are SwissConcept Consulting AG
    Switzerland Zurich

    We are one of the most experience concerns in Europe of Cross Border Trade
    The market will grow this is for sure however the trends will change and consumers will seek same concept its like if you like white colour al others will follow its the same in market trends. If domestics influence try to take over the international market will gain its power over the domestic market since trade is global and not domestic.

    We started with our trade company 1989 to trade with Russia and have performed trading since then of Heavy Machinery Cars Trucks Trailers and Beluga Caviar, Levis Jeans, Fashion cloths and luxury items from designers in Europe. We see the Asian market as one of our corners and have an office in Singapore.

    The markets of Cars new or used will have same effect as when we assisted Volvo to enter the Russian market, we build networks input leasing and conducted trade of used units to boost new car and truck sales. Our experience is hands on and we have interest to show our commitment and strength as partner to come with Chinese market and market trends.
    Richard Johansson

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