BEIJING, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- Chinese car-sharing giant UCAR has partnered with German car maker Borgward to roll out a new retail platform to improve production and sales efficiency, as the world's largest automobile market starts to lose steam.
Under the new retail model, auto makers will focus on research and development, production and after-sales services, while dealers will enjoy support from the UCAR-Borgward platform without having to stock any cars, the Chinese startup announced Tuesday.
The two parties also plan to set up retail outlets across the country to stay closer to customers who will enjoy innovative and affordable services enabled by UCAR's big data technology and expansive network.
The partnership and new retail strategy came after China's auto market had a bumpy year. Auto sales in the first 11 months of last year dropped 1.7 percent year-on-year to 25.42 million while output fell 2.6 percent to 25.33 million, making 2018 likely the first in 28 years to see negative auto sales growth.
UCAR chairman and CEO Lu Zhengyao believes the traditional auto production and sales model has failed to keep up with the latest technology and consumption changes, and the whole sector has to come up with new ways to reduce costs, improve efficiency and enhance customer experience.
Established in 2016, Beijing-based UCAR used to be an Internet car rental platform. It has now grown into an industry chain service provider engaged in Internet travel, auto e-commerce and auto finance.
The company's services span more than 300 cities nationwide, managing 400,000 vehicles for over 80 million users.