Amazon Launches New Car Comparison Site

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has launched a new car comparison site called Amazon Vehicles. The company’s press release says, “Finding cars on Amazon Vehicles is simple — just search like you would any other product.” The platform will include specifications, images, videos, and customer reviews for a wide range of car models.

The new site includes a search tool for researching new and used cars and trucks. Those already comfortable with shopping and searching on Amazon may find Amazon Vehicles is a useful resource for researching cars and narrowing down choices. Search results are displayed in the same format Amazon uses to display its other products. Shoppers can filter their search based on details like features, options, size, and fuel economy.

Amazon’s new site displays owner star ratings and reviews for all sorts of popular cars. Viewers can also view cars that have previously received high ratings from other Amazon buyers. The platform lets car shoppers pose questions to car owners and receive an answer in return.

The platform does not include pricing information for actual sales prices found on dealership lots, although it does display the manufacturer’s suggested retail price. Multiple states protect car dealerships with franchise laws that make it difficult for auto makers to sell directly to consumers. Access to auto financing is also not included on Amazon’s site.

Amazon Vehicles is an extension of Amazon’s Automotive store. Amazon has long sold auto parts and accessories and moving more aggressively in that field could make it a formidable competitor in a market dominated by eBayMotors. Car finder tools are already available in different forms on many automotive sites., TrueCars and Kelley Blue Book are among the main resources consumers currently use to research cars.

Amazon’s new research features could eventually establish a deeper foray into online car shopping. As auto buying increasingly moves online, car dealerships have developed internet departments through which pricing and negotiating can be handled. Upstarts such as CarGurus, Beepi and Vroom are trying to move the entire auto buying process online. If Amazon chose to establish links to local dealers, it would allow Amazon to get their foot in the door of the car market.