The opening of a new market for automobile manufacturers. E-commerce giant Amazon announced Thursday that it will begin selling new automobiles on its platform in the United States next year. Amazon made the announcement at the Los Angeles Auto Show in collaboration with Hyundai, the South Korean automaker that will be the first brand sold on the site.
Amazon said customers will be able to choose their preferred models and features online. They can then collect the car from their local dealership or have it delivered to their home. Financing options will also be available on Amazon. “Hyundai is a highly innovative company that shares Amazon's passion for trying to make our customers' lives better and easier every day,” Amazon Chief Executive Officer Andy Jassy said in a statement.
Until now, car buyers could browse deals on Amazon, but couldn't make their final purchase on the site. Included in the partnership with Hyundai is Amazon's Alexa virtual assistant which will be present in car models from 2025.
Although Amazon's plan includes dealer cooperation, direct sales to customers have grown in recent years in the United States, led by Tesla and other electric vehicle makers who cut out the traditional middlemen of dealers.
Automakers like Ford are trying to take advantage of the commercialization of electric vehicles to reduce their reliance on dealerships, which end up making vehicles more expensive. US companies that sell used cars online saw their stock prices fall following Amazon's announcement. Shares of auto retailers CarMax and Carvana plunged more than 5%.