What are the benefits of the Amazon-Hyundai pilot?
The benefits for Hyundai are that they've created a lot of PR buzz and noise around the brand, and from a branding standpoint, that's certainly going to help them. It'll be interesting to see how much Amazon promotes them to their everyday shoppers because, you know, people are going there for everyday goods and so I guess that's a good thing for Hyundai's brand awareness.
Could the Amazon initiative backfire?
I don't think Hyundai will need to spend as much on Super Bowl ads. We think the industry needs to evolve, and so perhaps some of the large television networks aren't going to get as much brand money as they used to. Let's remember this: Only 5 to 7% of the population is in the market to buy a car at any given time. That means mass-market advertising has close to a 90% waste factor.
As the auto industry and car companies all realize they've got to find a more efficient way to sell and to generate sales for their cars, digital platforms are far more efficient to generate vehicle sales to the very people who are actively in the market trying to decide what and where to buy now—and that's our DNA.
Does it make more sense for Amazon to buy a company such as yours, rather than do this themselves?
I don't know exactly how they view [subsidiary] Whole Foods or [online clothing retailer] Zappos, but if they're looking for an auto partner, we're certainly capable because we have trade-in solutions and financing solutions. We would love to help bring more dealers into the Amazon platform for sure.