In a move that must feel like a victory for people who prefer shopping online over going into a store, Amazon and Korean automaker Hyundai have closed a deal allowing buyers to purchase their vehicles on Amazon.com.
Executives for Amazon and Hyundai expect this partnership to offer customers a smoother, less stressful alternative to the atmosphere of buying a new vehicle at a dealership. While this is Amazon's inaugural venture into selling vehicles online, they're optimistic that it's a business model with a bright future.
How Buying a New Hyundai on Amazon Works
Like buying any other product on Amazon.com, the process is very straightforward.
Once they log into their Amazon account, customers select their location to view which vehicles are currently available at their local Hyundai dealerships. They will then be able to choose the model they want and trim options based on local inventory. Customers can also go through the financing process using “Hyundai Capital,” though more financing options will become available over time. Consumers can also purchase vehicles with cash if they choose.
Gone will be the days of price markups, haggling, and resorting to hardball tactics, like threatening to walk out of the dealership to negotiate a better deal. All relevant financial information will be featured up front, including which incentives someone qualifies for, what rebates are available, and the vehicle's price. Once a customer has gone through the financing process and signed all the paperwork online, they make their downpayment and simply add the vehicle to their cart and check out.
However, those wishing to test drive a vehicle before purchasing must go to a dealership because there will be no option for booking test drives on Amazon.com. Customers can get a full 360-degree view of the vehicle, inside and out, while browsing car options online, much like Hyundai customers currently do on the automaker's website through the “enhanced showroom” feature.
Since Amazon shoppers will be selecting from the dealership's current inventory, they can pick up their vehicle within a few days of ordering it online. However, there will be no return option with this initial program iteration.
Don't Expect This Option To Be Available at Every Hyundai Dealership
How many Hyundai dealerships participate in this Amazon partnership will depend on how many agree to sign up for it. So, even though this will be a nationwide program, only some dealerships will be eligible to sign up for it, and some dealerships could also decline to become part of this program.
Amazon's director of vehicle sales, Fan Jin, has stated that “Amazon is not going to be right for every dealer” and that the company is “looking for high-quality dealers” that are “customer obsessed.”
Given that an entire generation that grew up with smartphones in their hands are now working adults looking to buy cars, it's a safe bet that this program will be a hit for Amazon and Hyundai.
- Expertise: automotive news, dramatic writing & cinema.
- Education: San Francisco State University, B.A. Cinema Production (2013), San Francisco State University, M.F.A. Creative Writing (2021).
- Feature-length play Bill & Jenna (2021) was selected for professional play development at Z Space in San Francisco.
- Over 1,000 automotive news articles have been published on the web.
Jarret Hendrickson is a writer. He got his start when he was accepted into San Francisco State University’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program in 2018. While earning his degree, his short plays, The Captain (2019) & Fight Night (2020), were performed at San Francisco State University's annual Fringe Festival. His feature-length play Bill & Jenna (2021) was selected for the 2020 Greenhouse Professional Play Development Workshop at Z Space in San Francisco. While studying dramatic writing and screenwriting, he concluded that Se7en is the perfect modern screenplay. He received his MFA in the fall of 2021. In addition to his interest in writing and movies, Jarret also has a long-standing interest in automotive news, which dates back to his picking up a copy of MotorTrend when he was ten. His interest in all things automotive really blossomed at age 15 when he test-drove the 1994 Volvo SE that would accompany him for the next decade. His ongoing interest in cars helped him secure his first freelance writing job when he was hired to cover automotive news for axeladdict.com, where over 1,000 of his articles were published. You can find him on X (the social media platform formally known as Twitter) @jarrethsfpa and on Linkedin. Jarret currently covers the daily ebb and flow of the automotive industry for Wealth of Geeks.