Amazon has partnered with Fiat Chrylser to sell cars online for the first time, showing the company’s growing ambition to go after the $1.2 trillion auto sales market.
According to Reuters, Fiat Chrysler will sell three models — the 500, the 500L, and the Panda — on Amazon’s Italian site at a price that is up to 30% cheaper than other dealerships. The service will only be available in Italy.
The report said buyers will be connected with a dealer once they buy the car on Amazon. Then they will be able to finalise the deal with the dealer and pick up the car within two weeks of making the purchase. It’s unclear if Amazon will be holding actual inventory or it’s merely serving as a middleman for Fiat.
Amazon wasn’t immediately available for comment.
The news comes just three months after Amazon launched a new car browsing site called Amazon Vehicles. The site lets users read and leave reviews while browsing the specs of thousands of different car models, although it doesn’t allow actual purchases.
Some investors believe Amazon will eventually start selling cars on its US site. Morgan Stanley wrote in a note published in August that the launch of Amazon Vehicles, its partnership with Hyundai to deliver test drive vehicles, and the Echo integration with car brands all points to a new car selling site in the future.
During its most recent earnings, Amazon downplayed these speculations, saying the new Vehicles site is simply intended to be a research destination. But its head of investor relations Darin Manney did hint at the possibility of going further. He said:
“Certainly we’ll try to build a one-stop shop for vehicles as an extension to the automotive store which engages customers to add information about their cars in their garage and which makes it actually easier to shop for parts and accessories for your particular vehicle. And so we think there’s a lot of opportunity there to add convenience for customers.”
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider, the US partner of Business Insider Australia, through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.
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