Amazon is the US’s largest online retailer, and there aren’t many things on this big blue sphere that you can’t buy through an Amazon checkout. Automobiles, for a long while, were one of the site’s few blind spots, but not anymore.
Reuters reports that the online shopping behemoth has struck a landmark deal with Fiat Chrysler to sell three different models via the web, and for a pretty significant discount over what a dealership charges. The cars, which will initially only be available to Amazon shoppers in Italy, are the 500, 500L, and Panda — the best selling car in Italy as a whole.
Buying a car from Amazon might sound like a ridiculously risky maneuver, so Chrysler is going to sweeten the pot in a big way; the company plans to enhance some of its existing promotional pricing but up to one-third for those shopping on Amazon.
The cost savings is a boon for the would-be car buyer, but it makes sense for the manufacturer as well. After all, if a car shopper is buying the vehicle online, there’s no haggling and less upfront cost for the company. A customer buying online doesn’t waste an hour or more of a sales rep’s time, there’s no commission to be paid, and no wear and tear as a test driver kicks the wheels and floors the gas pedal.
Still, dealerships haven’t been entirely removed from the equation: Amazon buyers will be contacted shortly after their purchase and directed to an authorized dealer to sign off on the paperwork and actually pick up the vehicle. There is expected to be a delay of less than two weeks between ordering and pick-up.