The automotive industry is about to experience a significant shift as Amazon announces its plans to allow auto dealers to sell cars through its site starting next year. This groundbreaking partnership will commence with South Korean automaker Hyundai, challenging the traditional buying process and revolutionizing the way consumers purchase vehicles. By leveraging Amazon’s extensive platform and Hyundai’s innovative technology, this collaboration aims to reshape the automotive landscape forever.
Over the years, Amazon has gradually established its presence in the car-buying business. While the company has offered digital showrooms for researching and comparing vehicles, customers were unable to directly purchase them through Amazon until now. However, beginning in 2024, Amazon will introduce a new feature that enables shoppers to buy a new car online and subsequently collect it or arrange for delivery through their local dealership. This seamless integration of online convenience and the automotive retail industry will undoubtedly simplify the car-buying process.
By partnering with Hyundai, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy acknowledges the transformation this collaboration will bring to the ease of buying vehicles online. Through this alliance, Hyundai will not only leverage Amazon as a sales channel but also integrate Amazon’s widely acclaimed voice assistant, Alexa, into their cars starting in 2025. This move highlights Hyundai’s commitment to enhancing customer experience by incorporating cutting-edge technology within their vehicles.
Following the announcement of the Amazon-Hyundai partnership, several players in the automotive industry experienced a decline in their stock prices. Used car dealers such as Carmax and Carvana, along with the country’s largest publicly traded new car dealers, Lithia Motors and AutoNation, saw their shares decrease between 5% and 6%. This market reaction signifies the potential disruptive impact that Amazon’s entry into the car-buying market could have on existing industry players.
The car-buying industry, particularly traditional automakers like Hyundai, faces numerous challenges due to complex relationships with dealers. Many states have laws that prevent automakers from directly selling new vehicles to consumers, which necessitates collaboration with franchised dealerships. Notably, electric vehicle manufacturers such as Tesla and Rivian have found ways to circumvent these restrictions by initiating sales in states where the practice is not outlawed or launching legal battles against such laws. However, used vehicle sales are subject to less stringent regulations, allowing companies like Carvana to thrive in selling preowned cars and trucks directly to consumers online.
Amazon’s foray into the car-buying industry through its partnership with Hyundai marks a significant turning point in the way vehicles are purchased. By combining Amazon’s vast online marketplace with Hyundai’s technological prowess, customers will experience a streamlined purchasing process that offers both convenience and choice. While challenges related to existing dealer relationships and legal restrictions exist, this collaboration has the potential to reshape the automotive landscape and pave the way for future innovations in the industry.