Amazon, Hyundai Announce Online Car Sales From Local Dealers
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Currently shoppers can choose a car from multiple automakers but can’t actually purchase it on Amazon. They need to be connected with a dealer to complete the transaction. Now customers will be able to buy a Hyundai vehicle from the dealer directly on Amazon, the companies said Nov. 16.
Carvana Co., the online used-car retailer, dropped as much as 9% on Nov. 16. Shares of traditional dealer chains including CarMax Inc., AutoNation Inc. and Asbury Automotive Group Inc. also fell.
The partnership, the first of its kind between Amazon and an automaker, is an incremental step but could prompt other car manufacturers to follow suit. Pandemic lockdowns accelerated a shift to online vehicle purchases, and automakers have seized on the EV transformation as an opportunity to digitize auto retail. Still, strict franchise laws in the U.S. have ensured dealers remain intermediaries in auto sales transactions.
Shoppers will be able to select models from local inventory and choose a financing option from Amazon’s site. Then they can pick up the car from the dealership or have it delivered to their home.
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“This new shopping experience will create another way for dealers to build awareness of their selection and offer convenience to their customers,” the companies said.
Amazon has introduced a variety of features over the years aimed at attracting customers when they’re thinking about buying and fixing vehicles. Its “Your Garage” feature saves customers’ car makes and models to make it easier to find parts and accessories. Shoppers can also buy tires on Amazon, which will connect them with a local installation service.
Hyundai is hopeful Amazon’s platform will help juice sales, but it will continue to embrace the dealership model because of the important role they play in vehicle service, a spokesman said.
Amazon ranks No. 1 on the Transport Topics Top 50 list of the largest global freight companies, and ranks No. 9 on the TT100 list of North America’s largest private carriers.
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