Is Amazon now selling cars on top of everything else that it currently offers? It may sound a bit out there, but according to Reuters, Fiat Chrysler has now partnered with Amazon to begin selling cars online. At the present moment, however, the deal is only available to customers who live in Italy.
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) November 18, 2016
Before you get too excited about Amazon selling cars, it appears that the experiment is set to start out very slowly. For now, the deal is not only exclusive to Italy, but it is limited to just three vehicle models as well. Only the Panda, the 500, and the bigger 500L will be available for online purchase. According to Reuters, the three models were not selected at random. Rather, they were chosen for specific reasons.
The Panda is reportedly quite popular in Italy, and the 500 and 500L are marketed towards younger drivers. Naturally, when it comes to the thought of being able to purchase a vehicle with the simple the click of a mouse, younger drivers who have grown up with the internet might well be the ones who are most interested.
Per Reuters, the vehicles that will be available for purchase on Amazon will come at a sizable discount as well. The Reuters article further describes how during an online press conference, Gianluca Italia of Fiat Chrysler argued that the time has come for vehicle buyers to have an option as convenient and futuristic as this one.
“The time has arrived to give consumers a new, more efficient and transparent way to choose a new vehicle.”
Per Reuters, studies showed that many Italians were very open to the idea of purchasing a vehicle online. However, an overwhelming majority still favored picking it up the old-fashioned way.
“….Research had revealed that half of Italians were willing to buy a vehicle online but 97 percent still preferred to pick it up at a traditional dealer.”
Indeed, unlike an ordinary Amazon purchase, where your package is shipped and later shows up at your place of residence, the delivery process will be a little bit different. The way Reuters describes it, Amazon will serve as something of a middleman for these purchases.
After a customer selects his or her desired vehicle, Amazon will be in touch with the buyer to talk about potential dealerships to have it delivered to. Once a dealership is agreed on, the rest of the process should be rather timely, with Reuters claiming the vehicle should be ready to be picked up within a two-week period.
— Technology News (@_TNews) November 18, 201
The idea of Amazon selling cars may not be as surprising as one might think either. For at least a little while now, a few signs have suggested that Amazon might be hinting at an interest of jumping into this arena. Eugene Kim of Business Insider wrote of how Amazon recently launched a site called Amazon Vehicles, where visitors can learn about a wide array of automobiles as well as read and write reviews.
According to Alexander Maxham of Android Headlines, Amazon also has a test driving agreement with Hyundai for customers in the United States. He describes it as being similar to the partnership reached with Fiat in Italy.
“…A Hyundai representative will then bring the car to their home, work, or wherever they want it delivered, and they’ll can schedule a 45-60 minute window to test drive the car. However, they do still need to head to a dealership to buy the actual car. Buying a car online from retailers like Amazon could very well be the future.”
If it turns out to be a success in Italy, it will certainly be interesting to see if this is something that catches on elsewhere in the world, as Maxham alludes to. Although the thought of Amazon selling cars may still take some time to adjust to, simply logging in and adding a vehicle to your cart might just turn out to be a winning idea.
[Featured Image by Thorsten Wagner/Getty Images]