Amazon-Genesis, Hyundai Links Power Online Sales Giant To New Auto Info Space
In the last couple of weeks, Amazon and Hyundai have done some interesting things that have left many wondering about the linkage.
For Hyundai, the answer is pretty clear. The South Korean automaker has had a go-it-alone mindset for so long that it had to do something to break out of that mold. That it also opened itself to acting with Internet- and web-based entities, likely the real goal, was icing on the proverbial carnuba cake, so to speak.
Amazon, Hyundai Work Together
By working with Amazon, which allowed Hyundai use of its Alexa online assistant, the automaker gained access to a significant online presence that it had lacked. It was the Hyundai’s first move to interact with the Internet-based outlet. That it was one of the net’s premier shopping services was good planning on Hyundai’s part. Hyundai also furthered its alliance with Amazon with its “Drive Now” program. It is a program that allowed Amazon Prime customers that ability to set up test drives of 2016 Elantras at convenient times and locations. Further, it has taken much of the hassle out of car-buying.
Amazon, which has had a history of selling auto parts and related items through its sales portals, has gained a valuable ally, as well, an automaker willing to work with the online giant. In a way, the linkage has legitimatized Amazon’s presence in the automotive world. It’s not that Amazon hasn’t had a footprint in the automotive world, it is just that it was solely as Amazon, the online sales giant, not as the ally of an automaker. Now, with Alexa barking orders to Genesis 80 and 90 models, Amazon has become more integrated into a major automaker and, thus, into the automotive world.
Leapfrogging this activity, Amazon has launched Amazon Vehicles, a car research portal. Using this portal, consumers can get information on specific vehicles as well as see reviews of new cars and classics. Consumers can also upload photos and videos of their rides. Once they have uploaded their images and info, users then interact with the online Amazon Vehicles community by providing information on their vehicles.
Information is the key to the Amazon move, at this moment. Though it is one of the premier online sales giants, Amazon Vehicles forte is information. The information that consumers will find there is similar to the information one might find on Cars.com, Autotrader.com, KBB.com, Edmunds.com and MSN.com or Yahoo Autos, all third-party shopping/information sites.
An extension of Amazon’s already-existing Automotive Store, Amazon Vehicles lets consumers compare trim levels in side-by-side comparisons. The pages are well organized, providing an outline of price, performance and other features.
Amazon Vehicles A Further Step
Amazon Vehicles represents a further extension of its move into the world of autos. Adam Goetsch, director of automotive at Amazon, said in a statement to Automotive News that their “goal is to support customers during one of the most important, research-intensive purchases in their lives by helping them make informed decisions every step of the way. Amazon Vehicles is a great resource for customers who are interested in car information or looking for a broad selection of parts and accessories -- all enhanced by the ability to tap into the knowledge, opinions, and experiences of other car owners within the Amazon customer community.”
Amazon’s potential competitor in the auto information space, Cars.com, isn’t surprised at its new moves. Alex Vetter, Cars.com’s chief executive, said he doesn’t see Amazon as a direct competitor because there is no linkage to dealers. “Amazon has been in the advertising and automotive parts business for years. I think this is just another way to extend their current aftermarket business and parts business and continue to grow there,” he said to Automotive News. “We operate fundamentally different businesses.”