Amazon continues to show interest in the auto industry.
The tech giant will sell vehicles in Italy via a new partnership with Fiat Chrysler, Reuters reported. Italian buyers will be able to purchase three Chrysler models — the 500, the Panda and the 500L — on Amazon with an “additional discount,” Reuters noted.
Amazon will contact buyers after they click online and help them finalize the purchase at a physical dealership. It’s not clear if Amazon has its own inventory of vehicles. The entire process takes two weeks, Reuters reported.
This is another key step signaling Amazon’s ambitions for auto sales. In August, the company introduced Amazon Vehicles, a new section of its website that includes specifications, prices, images, videos, and customer reviews for thousands of new and classic cars. In addition, prospective buyers can ask owners questions about their cars.
Earlier that month, Amazon unveiled a program called “Prime Now. Drive Now,” which lets L.A. and Orange County members of Amazon’s $99 per year Prime program book 45-to-60-minute test drives in the 2017 Hyundai Elantra. Members schedule test drives through Amazon’s Prime Now portal and are directed to a local dealership if they want to purchase.
Amazon also has Amazon Automotive, which allows users to upload information about their vehicles and find the right parts to keep them up to speed.
The Amazon Vehicles announcement, the Hyundai partnership and recent deals to integrate the company’s digital assistant Alexa into various car brands point to the possibility that “Amazon is increasing its focus on the $1.2 trillion in annual new/used car sales,” reported Morgan Stanley in a note from August.
Morgan Stanley also wrote that Amazon has a better chance of getting into used car sales, where it won’t be burdened by legal barriers like dealer franchise laws that prevent direct new car sales over the internet.
And it’s not just vehicle sales that Amazon is interested in. Amazon’s streaming video service will begin airing a new series called The Grand Tour from ex-Top Gear hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May. Here’s a tweet from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos this week: