Did you ever think you’d be buying your next car on Amazon? You may be able to next year.
Amazon announced Thursday it plans to launch vehicle sales in late 2024, allowing car dealers to sell to customers through the website, starting with franchised dealers of Korean automaker Hyundai.
In return for having its vehicles offered on Amazon, Hyundai will include Amazon voice assistant Alexa in its next generation of vehicles, and make Amazon’s AWS cloud computing system its preferred cloud provider.
In nearly all states, automakers are required to sell through local dealers to prevent them from competing with their local franchisees – hence why Amazon cannot sell vehicles directly from automakers. It remains unclear how many dealerships have signed on to the program, or how expansive it will be within the U.S.
It’s an ambitious step for the e-commerce giant, given many consumers may still prefer to make such an expensive purchase in-person with a traditional dealer. However, the company promised in a statement to have a “range of solutions” to offset the concerns of customers in making such a decision online.
Once purchased, under Amazon’s vision, the car could then be delivered to the buyer, or be picked up from a local dealer.
Amazon currently has a slight foothold in the auto industry, as vehicle equipment can be purchased through Amazon, and customers can use the website to research different cars they may want to buy – but they cannot be bought directly through Amazon.