Starting next year, Amazon is gearing to roll out the option to purchase a car for the first time in partnership with Hyundai — putting dealerships in the driver’s seat directly on its platform.
Earlier, customers could explore car showrooms and compare prices on Amazon, but the option to purchase a car directly was not available. This is set to change next year as numerous Hyundai dealers will begin listing their models for sale on the platform, enabling customers to pay using their preferred payment methods and opt to either retrieve the car from a nearby dealership or have it conveniently delivered to their home.
Crucially, the dealer will still remain the ultimate seller of the vehicle, with Amazon’s platform serving as the intermediary connecting the customer to the dealership. It is uncertain whether the company is engaging in discussions with other automakers regarding the possibility of listing their vehicles on the platform.
“This new shopping experience will create another way for dealers to build awareness of their selection and offer convenience to their customers,” Amazon said in a post.
Gradually venturing into the automotive domain, Amazon today provides virtual showrooms for specific brands and tools for price comparison. Additionally, the platform facilitates the purchase of certain car parts and accessories. However, its partnership agreement with Hyundai will see the company play a bigger role, with Hyundai vehicles integrating with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant starting in 2025. Furthermore, Hyundai plans to leverage Amazon Web Services (AWS) for cloud services.
Amazon’s partnership with Hyundai aims to solve a major pain point customers face today. According to various surveys, car shopping is generally disliked, with dealership experiences consistently ranking high on people’s lists of frustrations. Tesla has sought to address this problem by championing a direct-to-consumer (DTC) approach, allowing customers to buy vehicles directly through the company’s website.
In the United States, 48 states currently have laws restricting or prohibiting manufacturers from selling vehicles directly to consumers. However, this landscape has been evolving, partly due to Tesla’s popularity. Notably, Tesla follows a direct sales model without independent dealerships, leading to legal battles with dealership associations in multiple states aiming to prevent direct car sales by Tesla.
Amazon’s deal with Hyundai smoothly maneuvers through this roadblock, ensuring dealers stay in the driver’s seat of the process. While many dealers already let customers cruise through their websites to pick and purchase cars, having Amazon as an extra lane is bound to rev up and streamline the entire car-buying joyride for millions of customers.