Want to buy a car on Amazon? Now you can get your chance.
The e-commerce giant will launch car dealerships in the United States next year and allow local dealers to sell directly to customers through Amazon’s website.
In a joint announcement with automaker Hyundai on Thursday, the two companies said Amazon will begin offering Hyundai cars. In turn, Hyundai will name Amazon’s cloud computing unit, AWS, as its preferred cloud information provider and will make its next-generation cars integrated with Alexa, Amazon’s popular voice assistant.
The idea, according to Amazon, is for customers to buy a new car online and pick it up—or have it delivered—to their local dealership.
Amazon did not say how many sellers will participate in the program or whether customers across the United States will be able to make purchases. An Amazon spokeswoman said the company will release more details as it develops the program, which will launch late next year with Hyundai dealers.
Today, Amazon sells auto parts online and offers a showroom for consumers who want to check out the different types of cars they want to buy. But consumers cannot directly buy a car on its platform.
Thursday’s announcement, however, reflects Amazon’s ambition to expand its presence through dealerships in an industry with strong lobbying groups and strict state regulations. Almost all states require manufacturers to sell their vehicles through dealerships to ensure that car companies do not harm their own dealer network.
Despite its vision, Amazon may face difficulties in convincing consumers, who may not be comfortable buying such a large platform. In a statement, an Amazon spokeswoman said that customers are increasingly buying vehicles online and that the company will provide “another solution that adds transparency” to the car buying process to help them make the right decision.