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Will Amazon Move into Auto Retail?

With Amazon getting into bricks and mortar with its Whole Foods purchase, making its delivery more convenient than ever with its prime and free delivery services, and announcing establishment of a second headquarters in addition to the massive one in Seattle, could the company also be the auto sales behemoth of the future?

This may not be as far-fetched as it might sound at first. The company already sells cars in France and Italy through partnerships, and offers vehicle-related items and services more widely.

Amazon already has a presence in the automotive industry. The e-retailer sells aftermarket parts online and launched Amazon Vehicles, a car buying research site, in August 2016. It sells Seat vehicles in France and Fiat cars in Italy through partnerships with the automakers. It's also working with automakers to offer its Alexa voice assistant for in-car services.

But these are just a slice of Amazon's overall business. The thing Amazon does better than anyone else is to get things to people, fast.

And a dealership network, with buildings scattered around a region, could be a key part of that strategy. — Katie Burke, Automotive News

The vast network of auto dealerships in the U.S. could be just the thing for distribution-oriented Amazon, but obstacles, such as differing state laws, are formidable, as the experience of Elon Musk at Tesla has shown. The entire dealership system, which is fragmented, would have to undergo a sea change, all too easily creating antagonistic dealers.

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