Amazon has announced its foray into the online vehicle sales arena, initiating a partnership with Hyundai, which is set to start in 2024. Customers will be able to browse and purchase Hyundai vehicles directly on Amazon.com. The service is restricted to the US for the time being.
On the opening day of the LA Auto Show (from November 17-26), both companies announced a partnership in online sales. Potential customers can select, configure, and close deals on Hyundai models in the coming year through the Amazon portal.
Vans with trailers?
So, what happens next? An Amazon van pulling a trailer with your next Hyundai arriving at your doorstep? Not exactly. The online orders are still placed at dealerships, where the customer can pick up his car.
In most US states, the rules are protective toward dealerships, which aren’t easy to bypass for e-commerce companies. This is one of the reasons why online shopping for cars remains weak. Nonetheless, home delivery is an option for online shoppers to stay competitive with the originator of this practice, Tesla.
Amazon functions as an extra intermediary in the US for Hyundai, which wants to tap into the vast customer pool of the e-commerce giant and boost sales performance.
The deal is not exclusive, as Amazon seeks to create a multi-brand experience following several stages. No other brands are on board yet. The size and influence of the online store might cause the seismic shift anticipated by everyone to give digital automotive purchases its much-needed momentum.
More than sales
Therefore, the partnership opens up what both companies see as “incredible opportunities”. Hyundai’s CEO, Jay Chang, expressed optimism about expanding sales networks and transitioning to electrification, highlighting the transformative nature of this collaboration.
“It will be interesting to follow the uptake by customers, as we are launching the luxurious Santa Fe in 2024,” says Anne Potemans, spokesman for Hyundai Belgium. “Currently, there’s no decision to sell on Amazon in Europe. The partnership in the US will most likely serve as a pilot.”
The deal is about more than sales contracts. As of 2025, next-gen Hyundais will feature an integrated version of the voice-controlled Alexa. The assistant will allow drivers to interact with their vehicles by speech, targeting an added layer of convenience and connectivity to the driving experience.
Hyundai dealers aren’t forced to participate in the program but can opt in.