Hyundai and Amazon
2024 Hyundai Santa Fe

Hyundai plans to offer prospective buyers the ability to shop for and buy their vehicles directly on Amazon. While many of the details are yet to be finalized, the South Korean automaker’s goal is to have the shopping process be more convenient while also strengthening their vehicles’ integration with various Amazon’s web services, including Alexa. The Korean carmaker revealed its plans to work with Amazon at the Los Angeles Auto Show last month.

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Hyundai and Amazon

Ideally, consumers will be able to log into their Amazon accounts, choose the vehicle they want, apply for financing, and complete the necessary paperwork online followed by a visit to the dealer of record to pick up their purchase.

In the real world, though, the car buying process isn’t necessarily that simple. It’s unclear how pricing will work. Expect Amazon-approved dealers to be forced to adopt a no-hassle, no-haggle model, like how the now-defunct Saturn brand operated for most of its life. This arrangement would also likely preclude the retailers from being able to add in items such as extended warranties and other profit generators one typically sees when sitting with a finance manager.

The more interesting announcement to come out of the partnership is tighter integration of Amazon services on Hyundai vehicles. Starting in 2025, owners will be able to engage in bi-directional communication with their cars and Alexa. For example, the owner can use their Amazon Echo device to start their vehicle, set the climate control to a specific temperature, and tune to their favorite radio station. It would also work the other way around where drivers can engage Alexa from inside the vehicle to turn on lights and set their smart thermostat to warm or cool the house.

A pilot for the online purchase program is expected to start in early 2024 with up to 20 dealers involved. Should things go to plan, Hyundai expects to open enrollment to most dealers, including those with Genesis franchises, by the end of the year.

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CG Says:

While the strengthening of Amazon services integration into Hyundai vehicles is interesting, we question the utility of the online shopping portion of this partnership. From everything we can tell so far, this arrangement looks like it’s little more than an online lead generator for a participating dealership–hardly different than the long-established auto-buying programs from places like Costco and TrueCar. The whole “buy and finance online” angle isn’t all that novel either because companies like General Motors and Nissan offer their own in-house shop-at-home services that don’t rely on third parties, which would necessarily take their own cut of the profits. Plus, these automakers offer other advantages like having the dealer bring a vehicle to the customer for a test drive and final delivery, along with remote pickup and drop off when it needs service. We’ll have to wait and see how this plays out for Hyundai, but for now we’ll remain skeptical.

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Hyundai and Amazon
Hyundai and Amazon

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