Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has agreed a deal with Amazon to launch a new online car sales service in Italy. The venture is the latest in a series of deals between Amazon and OEMs.
The carmaker will offer three models on the Italian version of the site, with online discounts that improve on currently available offers.
After buyers complete an online transaction, customers will be asked to choose the dealership where they will pick up their car. The vehicle will be available within two weeks of placing the order.
Gianluca Italia, managing director of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in Italy, said the manufacturer was giving buyers ‘a new, more efficient and transparent way to choose a new vehicle.’
He said research had revealed that half of Italians were willing to buy a vehicle online, but 97% still preferred to pick the vehicle up at a traditional dealer.
A growing number of OEMs are trialling Amazon as a new route to market as they target ‘digital natives’ who prefer to buy online instead of face-to-face.
In France, SEAT has begun selling new Mii city cars through the online marketplace.
SEAT is offering a limited number of Miis for a fixed price. The order is completed by a local SEAT dealer and delivered to a purchaser’s home within 72 hours of an order being approved.
Buyers do not need to pay for the whole car upfront. Once an Amazon shopper has paid a €500 deposit through the website, they are contacted by a SEAT advisor to complete the purchase.
Volkswagen is taking a slightly different approach, with a new marketplace on the French Amazon site that sells service packages and accessories.
Customers purchase a voucher and receive a code, which they hand over to their local retailer.
The Amazon service provides a new channel to market compared to manufacturers’ own online offerings.
Mercedes-Benz and Citroën are among the companies that have developed their own online sales portals, which can also allow customers to arrange finance over the internet.
Citroën is rolling out its online sales service throughout Europe over the next few years, including a planned launch in the UK in 2017.
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