Watch CBSN Live

Ford partners with Alibaba to expand in China

What's behind electric car push?

NEW YORK – Ford (F) is collaborating with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group (BABA) to further expand into the world's largest auto market.

The carmaker said Thursday that it's signed a three-year agreement to explore technology for marketing, sales, cloud computing, and distribution strategies.

Initially the companies will study methods for people to buy vehicles from pre-sale research to test drives and leasing options. They'll study areas to cooperate "that are reshaping the automotive industry in China and around the world," Ford said in a prepared statement.

Ford also hopes to better incorporate digital technologies and platforms into its vehicles.

Alibaba in China is what Amazon (AMZN) is to Americans.

Ford is a relatively small player in China and has been focusing on expanding into the market to better compete globally. It recently promised to roll out more than 50 new vehicles in that country over the next eight years, including 15 powered by electricity.

View CBS News In