Beijing - Ford is on the brink of signing a deal with Alibaba that may allow the US car maker to test selling cars to consumers in China through Alibaba’s online retail arm, Tmall, as well as via a new "auto vending machine" store concept, according to a Ford source familiar with the matter. Representatives of Ford and Alibaba, including Ford executive chairman Bill Ford Jr and CEO Jim Hackett, are expected to be in Hangzhou on Thursday to sign a letter of intent outlining the scope of the partnership. According to the source, who did not want to be named because he was not authorised to speak to the media, the deal was intended to position the car maker for an emerging Chinese marketplace where more cars could be sold online. The partnership would be part of Ford’s effort to overhaul its China strategy to revive the growth momentum it had lost in recent months. Ford’s global chief spokesman, Mark Truby, said the company was expected to make an announcement on Thursday in Hangzhou, ...

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