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Fox Business reports that Amazon is testing a new concept in Italy that is selling three Fiat models online at a discount.

According to the story, "Traditional dealers will still be involved in the process. After buyers select the vehicle they want on Amazon's site and commit to the purchase, they'll be contacted by Amazon and asked to choose a dealer with which to finalize their purchase and pick up the car. Italia said the vehicles should be ready for pickup within two weeks."

While it is a small-scale, localized test, the story suggests that "it's another step toward what many believe to be Amazon's goal: to shake up the way we buy new cars."

It would not be a concept that necessarily would translate to the US car sales business, where "state laws protecting franchised new-car dealers in the U.S. make it unlikely that Amazon will be able to sell cars directly to customers any time soon. But there are other ways for Amazon to profitably insert itself into the car-buying process and offer value to its customers."

Amazon could mimic other businesses that connect car shoppers to dealerships to offer no-haggle pricing, and it would have the advantage of a built-in customer base with which it could communicate effectively. Dealerships might not like the idea of dealing with Amazon, but the company's size and scope might make resistance futile.

In its story, the Seattle Times notes that "last summer, Amazon launched Amazon Vehicles, a destination on its online store that allows shoppers to browse car specifications and reviews to facilitate car shopping. But it won’t sell cars. The point is to direct customers to Amazon’s online store for parts.
KC's View:
There is absolutely no reason to think that Amazon can't and won't sell cars. There may be some regulatory issues, but this seems perfectly natural to me.