Hyundai just announced a closer collaboration with Amazon at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The company promised to include Alexa integration in its new vehicles and use Amazon Web Services for its cloud data. The important news, though, is that next year you'll be able to buy a Hyundai on Amazon.com.
Technically, Amazon will be selling more than just Hyundais. The company aims to offer a slew of vehicles for online purchasing, with transactions beginning on the largest online retailer and technically being executed by a dealership. Customers will be able to search for vehicles available in dealership inventory, filter cars based on options, colors, and whatnot, and check out using their preferred payment and financing option. They'll have to work with dealers to receive the car.
Hyundai will be the first brand available to customers. That means the company will have an online sales channel to rival Tesla, Rivian, Lucid, and the like. But don't assume that this will solve dealer woes once and for all. If you buy a Hyundai through Amazon in 2024, you'll still have to work with a dealer to complete the process.
While an online purchasing option is a step forward, car companies have tried many different ways of circumventing the pain point of shopping at a dealership. Many tried factory stores decades ago, and the combination of complex laws and inventory management limited the success of those trials. If Amazon can nail the integration of its online marketplace and third-party dealers, though, this could be a huge win for legacy automakers.
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