Amazon is offering on-demand test drives of Hyundai Elantras to Prime subscribers around Los Angeles and Orange County, CA, through a program taking place during the last two weekends in August.
The program is called Prime Now, Drive Now, and falls under Amazon's Prime Now two-hour delivery offering. Subscribers can have a 2017 Hyundai Elantra brought to them for a 45-minute to 60-minute test drive.
Marketing agency The Drive Shop is providing trained driving hosts to conduct the test drives, and Amazon Prime subscribers who take advantage of the program will be directed to their local Hyundai dealer after the test drive in the hope they will buy the car.
This program really seems to be all about Hyundai trying to make it easier for people to make the decision to buy their cars, by first making it easier for them to take a test drive. They are counting on some good will to come their way for arranging to have a car pull up to your house — or anywhere you want to start your test drive apparently — rather than forcing you to come down to the dealership for forced conversation with a salesperson and watered-down coffee. (Full disclosure: We once had a really bad cup of coffee at a Hyundai dealership.)
It's hard to imagine a program like this being on Amazon's drawing board of Prime delivery ideas, but who knows? It certainly is an easy fit for Prime. In fact, other than handling the Prime Now order from a customer, it doesn't seem like Amazon has to do much — or maybe any — logistical support with The Drive Shop participating.
For now, this is a very brief test program, limited to a specific geography, and involving only one car model. If it proves popular, however, it's easy to see Amazon and automakers moving quickly to support on-demand drive tests of many more car makes and models.
Amazon and Hyundai reportedly did not disclose financial arrangements between the two companies, but Amazon is usually pretty good at making sure it gets its share of the yield from an co-marketing program. If the program does prove successful enough that Hyundai and other automakers want to do more of it, Amazon should be able to name its price for letting them have access to its 63 million or so Prime members.