US e-commerce giant Amazon announced at the Los Angeles Auto Show it planned to sell new vehicles online in the US from next year, starting with Hyundai.

In a joint announcement, the two companies said they had established a broad-based strategic agreement “to bring innovative new experiences to customers”.

Customers will soon be able to select a Hyundai model, along with equipment options, on the Amazon platform and have the choice of either picking it up at their nearest dealer or having it delivered to home.

Hyundai has also chosen Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its preferred cloud provider to “help facilitate its digital transformation” and will offer Alexa Built-in in its next vehicles.

Hyundai Motor Company president and CEO Jaehoon Chang said in a statement: “Partnering with one of the world’s most customer centric organisations unlocks incredible opportunities as we continue to expand our [model line], grow our sales network, transition to electrification and realise the future of smart mobility.

“Hyundai will be the first automotive company available for full end to end transactions on Amazon’s US store. This this is another example of how we continue to push for ways to elevate the customer journey together with our outstanding retail partners.”

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Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said: “Our broad strategic partnership should….. [change] the ease with which customers can buy vehicles online, to making it simple to use Alexa in vehicles for entertainment, shopping, smart home adjustments and calendar checks, and enabling Hyundai to transform its customer experiences and business operations by moving to AWS.”

Online sales

Hyundai said: “From 2024 auto dealers will be able to sell vehicles on Amazon’s US online store for the first time. Customers will be able to search on Amazon for available vehicles in their area based on a range of preferences including model, trim, colour and features and then check out online with their chosen payment and financing options all within the Amazon experience they already know and trust.

“This new shopping experience will create another way for dealers to build awareness of their selection and offer convenience to their customers.”

Cloud transformation

Hyundai said it has signed a new multi-year agreement with AWS as its preferred cloud provider to accelerate its digital transformation using the company’s broad, industry leading capability from computing, data storage, databases and analytics to generative AI and Internet of Things (IoT). The automaker said it expected to become a more data driven organisation with a cloud first technology strategy. It plans to migrate to AWS all of its current on premise operations, from research and product engineering to customer engagement.

Hyundai said it would “prioritise business cases like manufacturing and supply chain to help optimise production and minimise costs, security and disaster recovery for resiliency, and connected vehicle development to bring new features to drivers”. AWS and Hyundai have designed and implemented a Master Builder training and certification programme to train Hyundai engineers in critical cloud skills.

Vehicle services

Hyundai also announced that from 2025 customers purchasing newer models will be able to access the on-board, hands-free Alexa system. Drivers will be able to ask Alexa to play music, podcasts and audiobooks, set reminders, update task lists and check calendars. Customers will also be able to control their smart home electronics from the road, such as asking to warm up the house on their way home, double-checking doors are locked, managing smart lighting and other tasks normally carried out by Alexa. Drivers will also be able to ask for the latest traffic updates and weather reports. They will also be able to voice control the entire media player and navigation with some Alexa features still accessible when internet connectivity is intermittent or not available.