First, Amazon came for the bookstores. Then it came for seemingly everything else except car dealerships. You see where we are going with this.
Hyundai said Thursday that starting next year it will sell its cars directly on Amazon, marking the first major auto brand to list on the massive e-commerce platform. We’re just hoping Amazon doesn’t come for newsletters next.
Hey Alexa, Check My Blind Spot
Online shopping and direct-to-consumer models have long been at play in the auto industry, with Tesla long employing the latter, inspiring EV brands like Rivian and Lucid to follow suit. Meanwhile, a recent study from research firm Cox Automotive found that consumers who complete most of the car-buying process online tend to report the highest satisfaction results.
Hyundai’s e-commerce play will still loop in local auto dealers, rather than circumventing them entirely, allowing for something of a best-of-both-worlds hybrid approach, allowing franchisees to list their lot stock online and users to digitally window shop vehicles in their area.
Established players in the ecommerce car space are already feeling the heat:
- Carvana, the online used car dealer and pandemic-era darling, saw its share price skid more than 5% following Hyundai’s announcement. Meanwhile, dealership giant Asbury Automotive Group’s shares plunged more than 8%.
- CarMax dropped 5%, while TrueCar fell nearly 7%. Car sellers “have all said, ‘We want to be the Amazon of car buying.’ Well, now Amazon is the Amazon of car buying,” Ivan Drury, director of insights at the auto industry research firm Edmunds, told Axios.
Also announced Thursday: Starting in 2025, all Hyundai cars will feature Amazon Alexa technology as part of the partnership.
Gone in 60 Seconds: In May, Hyundai settled a $200 million class action lawsuit, following complaints that the automaker failed to install appropriate anti-theft technology in millions of its vehicles, leading to a plague of carjackings. Now, 17 US cities, including Chicago, New York, and San Diego, are filing lawsuits of their own, saying that Hyundai cars represent a large portion of stolen vehicles in their jurisdictions. In other words, plan on being home when the Amazon guy delivers your new Kona — lest you fall victim to a particularly costly case of porch piracy.