Amazon Expands Automotive Footprint

Consumers in the market for a new car now have a new place they can buy, and they don’t even have to leave the house to do it. At least if they live in Italy.

Fiat Chrysler and Amazon announced a deal that will offer Italian customers discounted sales of Fiat’s Panda, 500 and 500L on the online retail giant’s website.

There’s no one-click shopping for cars just yet. After selecting their purchase, Italian customers will be notified by Amazon as to where they can pick up their new ride within two weeks. Existing promotions on the three available models will reportedly be improved by 33 percent in the online market.

In an online press conference, Gianluca Italia, managing director for Fiat Chrysler in Italy, said: “The time has arrived to give consumers a new, more efficient and transparent way to choose a new vehicle.” While Italia said Fiat Chrysler’s research showed that half of Italians are willing to buy a vehicle online, 97 percent would still prefer to buy from a traditional dealer.

This is but another step in Amazon’s move into car sales. Amazon debuted a similar offering for French customers last month, though customers there could only place an online down payment. To get the vehicle, customers still need to contact a dealership and fork over the remainder of their payment.

Earlier this past summer, the online retail behemoth launched Amazon Vehicles stateside — an online comparison shopping tool for folks in the market for a new, used or classic car.

Amazon Vehicles is more a research-intensive comparison hub and community of car enthusiasts than a purchasing platform. The site offers U.S. customers the chance to review product specs and curated driver reviews. Amazon Vehicles also links to the Amazon Automotive store, which sells replacement parts, tools and accessories — though no complete cars just yet.


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