Amazon made a new move today called Amazon Vehicles and they are just like barely right on the tippy edge of selling you an actual, whole car. But that would be too simple.
Instead they’re giving you just about every step of the car buying process, short of the bit where you actually click ‘buy’ and they send a driver to your house with your new ride.
The system lets you look up new vehicles, go through what they’d cost, compare them to other vehicles on sale, and save your choice in a digital garage. For instance, if I wanted to buy a Cadillac CT6 because I want a big large sedan of American quietude, I can go and look at it and pick out colors and see what I get at different trim levels, with the starting MSRPs listed along with regular Amazon reviews. There’s even a little thing that shows me active recalls on the car if there are any. Of course I don’t have any need for a big large sedan of American quietude, but that’s just an example of how this all works.
Tesla is naturally among the cars you can select, and of all the cars in the world, you’d think that Tesla, with its direct-sales model, would be able to get away with selling their cars on Amazon. Nope, as Electrek reports, not even Tesla.
At least once you’ve gone through and not-bought your car, you can stay on Amazon and buy parts, a service which has already existed as the Amazon Automotive store, as Automotive News reports.
What’s interesting is that this service is launching while Amazon is gearing up to debut The Grand Tour, Clarkson Hammond and May’s post-Top Gear online show. There’s no exact indication that the two are ever going to end up partnered together, but there’s lots of tie-ins that could conceivably work. The disembodied voice of Jeremy Clarkson could utter a booming “Don’t do that” every time you go look up the price of an Infiniti Q30, which he hates, for instance.
Automotive News calls the new Amazon Vehicles a ‘car research portal,’ but to me it looks like prep for when we hopefully soon will be able to give up the dealer model altogether and buy cars like we do everything else.