We already rely on Amazon Prime to bring us necessities like food, clothing, and five-pound Hershey bars, so why not entire cars? Hyundaiis going to try that, although only to quickly bring you a car to test-drive. There’s no one-click ordering for Elantras yet.
The program, called “Prime Now. Drive Now”, is an extension of the Prime Now fast delivery service that brings certain items to people in select areas in under two hours. It’s available this weekend and next, only to people in Los Angeles and Orange County. Prime members can hop online and schedule a time between 9 am and 7 pm, Saturday or Sunday, and designate a preferred location for the test drive. After that, a “trained expert” will be sent with a 2017 Hyundai Elantra for the potential customer to try out for 45 to 60 minutes. If after that they want to purchase an Elantra, the expert can then direct them to a local Hyundai dealer to complete the transaction.
This is an interesting approach to reaching consumers and could have benefits for them. People who are too busy to visit a dealer for a test drive can schedule a more convenient time and place to try the car. For people who get stressed out with the dealer experience and the pressure to purchase a car (which is, like, everyone) this could also be a more comfortable way to look at one. It’s also a clever way for Hyundai to sort of circumvent its dealers while still letting them handle the final sale, a sort of indirect direct-sales solution.
On the flip side, this program means consumers may only try the car that arrives at their door, and there’s a decent chance that it will be a high trim with options and features that they might not want or be able to afford. It might still require some shopping around at the dealer to see what the different trim levels and options are like. Though only a limited trial for now, it will be interesting to see if Hyundai continues the program, and having more test-drive options can’t hurt.