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Hyundai/Amazon Partnership Update

Friday, November 24, 2023 9:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

The NADA organized a Zoom meeting earlier this week for automobile trade association leaders from across the country with Hyundai’s VP of Sales & Marketing Sean Gilpin to gather more information from Hyundai on its recent partnership announcement with Amazon.

We’ve recapped some of the key points here:

  • According to Hyundai, the primary objective of program was to deliver innovative experiences and reach new audiences/customers.
  • The current structure of the partnership is in a pilot program/beta testing only. Furthermore, this is only open to Amazon employees and their friends/family members—at least at this time during the pilot.
  • 8 dealers are in the pilot and most dealers were selected due to proximity to larger Amazon offices.
  • The 18 dealerships in the pilot are represented within five states: Seatle, LA, NYC, Atlanta and Denver.
  • Pilot launch date is January 2024. General availability launch date (based on feedback/key learnings received from pilot) will launch in April 2024. Hyundai’s goal is to share key learnings from pilot with the NDAC in February 2024 prior to the General Availability launch date in April.
  • The process is as follows: the vehicle is discovered via Amazon and the checkout includes the deal jacket, pricing rebates, lending, products all occur via the individual dealer. Hyundai Capital is the only lender. The final transaction, paperwork and vehicle delivery will be finalized at the dealership.
  • Complaints/issues with a transaction? Complaint will go to everyone: Hyundai, dealer and Amazon and the parties will work it out together.
  • There are no fees for the dealers to participate in the Amazon program (opt-in only), nor are there fees for dealers to integrate its systems.
  • Amazon will take the deposit and then distribute that to the dealer (this is the same process that goes for all brokers on Amazon). Amazon will not store social security numbers or other personal information.
  • If the customer doesn’t qualify for financing via Hyundai Capital, then the customer will be notified and sent to the dealer to explore other options.
  • Regarding whether dealers can offer additional packages/add-ons to the customer? Right now, Hyundai Capital is the only financing option, but perhaps down the road (after pilot) there will be a menu of options from which the consumers may choose.
  • Regarding the compensation structure between Hyundai and Amazon, there is no other monetization (i.e. Amazon isn’t getting a cut of the vehicle sold via its platform) other than the added value of the media partnership between Hyundai and Amazon.
  • In regard to Amazon’s investment in Rivian stock, the question “Is this a learning for Amazon to learn the process and business at Hyundai dealers’ expense?” Sean Gilpin says he can’t comment on that model on behalf of Amazon, but he did point out that Cox Automotive has invested in brands like Rivian and Lucid.
  • What about Amazon’s return policy? All vehicles are backed by Hyundai’s Shopper’s Assurance programs which translate to the individual dealer.
  • Trade-ins are not part of the initial pilot launch. Hyundai says that trade-ins would be incorporated down the road, but that Hyundai will count on dealers’ guidance to best facilitate that process. Amazon isn’t in the car business, which is why they want to partner with Hyundai on this process.
  •  No comparison to Costco or Sam’s Club programs, according to Hyundai, other than the loyal customer base/cost transparency. The comment was that Dealertrack programs are more similar in that they help the customer locate the vehicle but the transaction takes place via the dealer.
  • NADA will ask for a statement from Amazon regarding how customer data collected via this process will be utilized. It was noted that there are varying privacy laws per state so gathering this information is critical prior to the pilot launch (i.e. will dealers need to alter their disclosure agreements).

We will continue to share more once additional information becomes available throughout the beta program.

Chicago Automobile Trade Association
18W200 Butterfield Rd.
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181 
(630) 495-2282


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