Amazon is getting closer and closer to that 1-click car buying future we've all wanted. Fiat Chrysler announced today that it will be be partnering with the shopping giant sell cars online at discount.
Before you get too excited, it's important to know that this will only be offered to buyers in Italy (for now) via Amazon.it, and it will be limited to three models, the Panda, the 500, and the 500L. A new Reuters report explains how it will work:
So, after making their clicks online, buyers will be contacted by Amazon to decide on a dealer where they can finalise their purchase and pick up the car. The vehicle should be ready within two weeks of the initial click.
It's not totally clear what "finalise their purchase" means. Last month, Amazon.fr and Seat announced a deal where customers in France could pay a car's down-payment on Amazon. To actually get the car, you have to do a phone interview and then pay another €10,490.
Still, this is great news for individuals who would prefer to buy a car online in order to avoid the hassle of haggling and bargaining. You do still have to go to the dealer to pick it up, but that's an improvement over the current car buying process which can be tedious and full of upsells. After all, you do your car research online, you might as well buy it online too.
So will this sort of thing come to the US? It's certainly possible. One of the hurdles facing online car purchases Jalopnik pointed out back in August had to do with dealer franchise laws that allow only authorised dealers to sell automobiles.
In Italy, it looks like sales and pickup will still ultimately be with the dealer — Amazon is just your shopping and payment middleman — so it's possible Amazon could do something similar stateside.
On a related note, Amazon launched its Amazon Vehicles in the US a few months ago, and the new portal does everything short of letting you buy a car online. You can read reviews, compare costs, and even buy parts for the car. We can only hope the full 1-click experience hits the US soon.