In brief: They say you can buy virtually anything on Amazon. That will be even truer next year when the tech giant starts selling motor vehicles directly on its retail platform for the first time. The initial models will be from Hyundai, with other brands following in 2024.
Amazon and Hyundai announced at the 2023 LA Auto Show that the platform will start selling the South Korean auto manufacturer’s vehicles directly in the second half of 2024.
The companies said customers will be able to shop for a Hyundai vehicle in their area, equip it, and complete the purchase on Amazon.com using their preferred payment method or financing option. They can then schedule a delivery to their home through a local Hyundai dealer or pick it up themselves.
As part of the deal, Hyundai will include built-in Alexa voice assistant systems in its vehicles, starting in 2025. The company will also start using Amazon Web Services for its cloud requirements.
Amazon has been moving closer to selling cars directly on its site for years. It launched a pilot program with Hyundai in 2016 that allowed Prime members to schedule a test drive for a Hyundai car online.
Amazon currently allows customers to browse digital showrooms and compare vehicles, configure specs, calculate the price, and find a dealer to complete the sale. Vehicle parts and accessories are also available to buy on Amazon.com. However, purchasing an automobile directly from the site has not been possible.
Amazon will act as the middleman for those buying a car from the website; the dealer is still the end seller in these transactions. Many states (48 of them) have laws that limit or ban manufacturers from bypassing franchised dealers and selling vehicles directly to consumers, though the likes of Tesla, which has no independent dealerships, and Rivian have managed to get around these rules.
“We’re now partnering with one of the world’s leading digital retailers,” said Mike Sullivan, president and owner of several LA-area dealerships, while on stage at the LA show. “They’ve led the way in delivering customer convenience, and now they’re going to help us take our customer experience to the next level. Amazon also brings massive reach and marketing power to connect to more customers. We can’t wait to get started.”
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