In what must feel like another painful blow to traditional car dealerships, Amazon has announced that it will allow customers to browse and purchase new cars on its e-commerce platform as of next year.
Hyundai will be the first manufacturer to not only offer a virtual showroom on the world’s most recognized shopping platform, where potential buyers can browse, research and compare models, but also click to buy and have it delivered by a local dealer – or go and pick it up in person.
Amazon has already been experimenting with virtual showrooms on its US platform, partnering with the likes of Dodge, Jeep, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan and Volvo, allowing interested parties to explore an Amazon Shop that is packed with the latest models, as well as further information and the ability to search local dealer inventory. But today, buyers still have to make that dealer connection to buy.
The new partnership between the e-commerce giant and the South Korean automaker changes all that. As the pair stated at this year's LA Auto Show, customers will be able to search for available vehicles in their area based on a range of preferences, including model, trim, color, and features, choose their preferred car, and then check out online with their chosen payment and financing options – all within the Amazon experience they "already know and trust".
"Hyundai is a very innovative company that shares Amazon's passion for trying to make customers' lives better and easier every day," said Amazon CEO Andy Jassy.
However, this deal offers Hyundai more than just the ability to sell its vehicles on Amazon, as the company will also use Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its preferred cloud provider to help it push towards a more digital-first future.
The partnership will cover a broad spectrum of Hyundai’s automotive business, from training Hyundai engineers in critical cloud skills to allowing Hyundai to gain a deeper understanding of its customer base using Amazon’s research tools.
A voice of reason
This new partnership will also affect what future customers can expect to find inside their new, Amazon-bought cars.
As of 2025, Hyundai says owners will gain access to a hands-free Alexa experience they have at home, with the ability to control smart devices within the domestic setting from the infotainment system, access calendars and ask Alexa for weather and traffic reports.
Kia previewed natural speech interactions when it unveiled a raft of upcoming EVs during its inaugural EVDay held earlier this year, with spokespeople only suggesting they were working "with some of the best in the business" in terms of AI and natural speech tech providers.
This deal looks to confirm that future Hyundais, as well as offerings from sister company Kia, will use Alexa as its in-car voice assistant of choice.
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