SAN FRANCISCO, Nov 17 ― E-commerce giant Amazon said yesterday it would start selling new automobiles on its platform in the United States next year.

Amazon made the announcement at the Los Angeles Auto Show in conjunction with Hyundai, the South Korean auto giant that will be the first brand sold on the site.

The company said customers will be able to choose models and their favourite features online. They can then pick up the car at their local dealership or have it delivered to their home.

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Financing options will also be available on Amazon.

“Hyundai is a very innovative company that shares Amazon's passion for trying to make customers' lives better and easier every day,” said Amazon Chief Executive Andy Jassy in a statement.

Until now, car buyers could browse offerings on Amazon, but could not make their final purchase on the site.

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The partnership with Hyundai will also see Amazon's Alexa smart speaker featured in models starting in 2025.

Even though Amazon's plan includes the cooperation of dealers, direct-to-customer sales have expanded in recent years, led by Tesla and other electric vehicle companies that do away with the traditional dealership middleman.

Car makers like Ford are trying to use the release of EVs to loosen their dependence on dealerships that end up making a vehicle more expensive.

US companies that sell used cars online saw their share price plummet on Amazon's news.

Shares of auto retailers CarMax and Carvana dove more than five percent. ― AFP