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Amazon is now selling cars online - but not in the United States

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【Summary】US e-commerce giant Amazon is partnering with Italian automaker Fiat Chrysler, to sell three most popular car models of its brand on Amazon.it, with a great discount of up to 33 percent.

Original Claire    Nov 21, 2016 10:25 PM PT
Amazon is now selling cars online - but not in the United States

Technically speaking, no online platform is selling cars with "just one click." Buying a car often means going through a lot of procedures on site - bargaining with car dealers, test-drives and so on. Regulations in different countries often restrict buying cars online. Although we can buy just about anything through a virtual platform, one click and overnight shipping aren't yet possible for autos. But as online shopping becomes more and more related to our life, some are trying to change the situation.

Recently, U.S. e-commerce giant Amazon is partnering with Italian automaker Fiat Chrysler to sell three popular car models of its brand on Amazon.it. They are offering a discount up to 33 percent.

The three cars for sale are the 500, the Panda and the 500L. Fiat Chrysler Automobile said the choice was deliberate because the Panda is Italy's biggest selling car, while buyers of the 500, and its larger 500L version, embody the young and adventurous nature this initiative is trying to appeal to.

The price is much cheaper in comparison with dealership prices. And according to report from Reuters, after picking up a car online, buyers will be contacted by an Amazon representative with details on where they can finalize the purchase and pick up the vehicle. And within two weeks of the initial click, the car will be ready. Again, it's not one-click shopping, but it's a big step. 

It's unclear if Amazon will be holding actual inventory or it's merely serving as a middleman for Fiat. Amazon refused to comment on this partnership for additional details.

This is not the only endeavor Amazon did regarding selling cars in Europe. Just one month ago, Spanish automaker Seat has announced a deal with the U.S .e-commerce tycoon, stating that it will sell 15 Mii by MANGO compact cars through the French Amazon site Amazon.fr. Customers need to pay a €500 down payment online, go through a phone interview, and pay another €10,490 to get the car. That sounds more complicated than the Italian shopping experience.

Three months ago, Amazon launched its own car browsing website called Amazon Vehicles. Users can read and post reviews when browsing the specifications of different car models online. It's more like a forum and the website doesn't allow car purchases.

People are guessing if Amazon will eventually sell cars online in the U.S., but the company remains quiet on this issue. They've merely said the website is mainly for people to do research on cars. But its head of investor relations Darin Manney did hint at the possibility of going further:

"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."

Amazon may soon be doing the same type of car shopping business in the U.S. as it's doing in Italy and France. 


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