Amazon is dipping deeper into the car business next year by letting auto dealers sell on its site, starting with Hyundai.
The online retail giant will be a marketplace for U.S. vehicle consumers, who can search for vehicles in their area by model, trim and other features, check out with chosen payment methods or financing options, then pick up their vehicle at a local dealership or have the store deliver it, the companies announced at the Los Angeles Auto Show publicized in a joint press release.
Consumers can currently research vehicles on Amazon but not buy them. Many in the automotive industry have fretted about direct sales models such as Tesla's potentially squeezing out the "middle man" of the auto dealer, and the Amazon-Hyundai partnership will likely cause more such hand-wringing. BMW, for instance, is switching to the agency model, as direct sales are sometimes called, in Europe next year with its MINI brand.
The “strategic collaboration” between Amazon and Hyundai also includes the South Korean automaker using the Alexa Built-In voice assistant in vehicles starting with 2025 models, and making Amazon Web Services its preferred cloud provider for “digital transformation.”
Adding vehicle sales to Amazon offerings will “make it easy for customers to purchase a new car online,” the release says, touting the convenience of shopping for a car on a site many consumers are already well familiar with.
The companies characterize the move as “another way for dealers to build awareness of their selection and offer convenience to their customers.”
Hyundai and presumably other carmakers to follow will be the end sellers, with Amazon as the shopping site.
Originally posted on Auto Dealer Today