Amazon has effectively changed the way consumers shop for many goods. What started as a place to purchase books has become an entertainment hub, a grocery store, and a place to score deals on some of the hottest tech gadgets. Now, it may be about to replace car dealerships.
A report from Automobilwoche claims Amazon plans to begin selling cars online. Sources say the online retailer has been building its new unit behind the scenes to eventually launch its assault on the traditional dealership network model.
“(Amazon) has been luring experts with fat pay packages for some time,” an automotive consultant told the German publication.
And don’t forget that Amazon has already launched its Amazon Vehicles database which lists data for popular vehicles and user reviews. Adding a buying process and sorting out a network of service centers would be the next step. A partnership with a third-party network or even the manufacturer's own service centers would be the most likely outcome.
The German report states Amazon will first begin its service in the United Kingdom and will be run from Luxembourg. It's unclear how quickly the service may expand, but it will likely depend on the degree of success found in the U.K.
Amazon declined to comment on the matter directly, but the idea isn't so far-fetched. Various automakers are starting to embrace the Internet in an effort to streamline the car buying process, though buyers ultimately have to show up in person at a dealership eventually. How Amazon approaches the idea of car buying will be interesting to watch.