Amazon is to showcase Hyundai vehicles on its US marketplace, as OEMs increasingly rely on direct-to-consumer platforms to reach customers.

The digital showroom gives buyers the ability to compare pricing and reviews, book test drives, as well as check dealer inventories and other conveniences directly through the Amazon Vehicles section, which launched in 2016.

The platform is currently only available to consumers in the US. Customers are directed to a dealership to finalise the purchase, due to franchise laws prohibiting direct manufacturer sales in 12 US states, including Michigan and Texas. A further ten states saw recent changes in the law following court challenges by Tesla.

Some brands, like Ford, have nevertheless been experimenting with online sales in the US where possible. In European markets, where less prescriptive regulations allow for more retail experimentation, Hyundai and others may find greater potential for the model.

In May, Volvo partnered with Amazon UK to allow customers to book test drives through the e-retailer’s website, an initiative already piloted by Amazon in the US, Germany and Italy.

Dean Evans, chief marketing officer for Hyundai Motor America, said of the digital showroom: “The car industry is changing, and customer demands and expectations around a friction-less, efficient and transparent experience are key drivers. We are excited to continue improving the automotive retail experience by offering tools and access that make shopping for a car even easier.”

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Tim Maxwell, senior group manager, digital marketing said: “This collaboration with Amazon provides customers with the ability to learn about Hyundai vehicles in a way that matches their expectations for nearly every other type of purchase”.

An expansion into automotive for Amazon, even if limited to showcasing vehicles, would put it in competition with the likes of Auto Trader, which has been making pushes for a more direct B2C experience in new cars, as well as OEMs’ own direct sale pilots.