Amazon will expand its merchandise to include cars.
The online retailer announced a new partnership with Hyundai at the LA Auto Show. Starting the second half of 2024, customers will be able to purchase Hyundai vehicles online through Amazon.
The retailer will allow interested buyers to filter for cars in their area based on price, model, trim, color, and features. Customers will be able to secure financing and check out online. The vehicle can either be picked up or delivered.
Other makes will be available later in the coming year.
Amazon “has slowly muscled its way into the car-buying business over the years, launching digital showrooms on its site for shoppers to research and compare vehicles, but not purchase them directly,” reports CNBC. “Consumers can also buy car products, such as replacement parts, through its site.”
“We’re now partnering with one of the world’s leading digital retailers,” said Mike Sullivan, the president of multiple Hyundai dealerships in the Los Angeles area, during the joint announcement. “They’ve led the way in delivering customer convenience, and now they’re going to help us take our customer experience to the next level. Amazon also brings massive reach and marketing power to connect to more customers. We can’t wait to get started.”
Hyundai plans to use Amazon Web Service as its preferred club provider and will integrate Alexa, the retailer’s voice assistant, into its vehicles in 2025, per TechCrunch.
The partnership comes as Hyundai faces multiple lawsuits accusing the company of enabling a wave of car thefts.
Baltimore, Seattle, and St. Louis have all accused the automaker of failing to prevent crime by installing anti-theft devices in all their models. Instruction on how to start and steal Hyundais and Kia are available online and were widely shared on TikTok.
Between 2021 and 2022, the number of Hyundais stolen in Seattle increased by 503%.
“Kia and Hyundai chose to cut corners and cut costs at the expense of their customers and the public,” Seattle City Attorney Ann Davison said in a statement on Jan. 25. “As a result, our police force has had to tackle a huge rise in vehicle theft and related problems with already stretched resources. Now Seattle taxpayers must shoulder the burden of the increase in theft. Kia and Hyundai need to take responsibility for the public safety hazard that they created.”
When Baltimore filed its lawsuit in May, 577 Hyundais had already been stolen. The total number at the end of the year is predicted to be twice as high as it was in 2022.
“These cost-cutting measures employed by Hyundai and Kia at the expense of public safety are unacceptable,” said Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, per WMAR2. “They have left our residents vulnerable to crime and are significantly burdening our police resources.”
Amazon believes its partnership with Hyundai will enhance the car shopping and driving experience for customers.
“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 in a press release.