Starting Monday, Amazon.com will be in the new car business. More specifically, they will begin selling Lincolns. Sort of like the Foose Camaros at Sam's Club, this one has us scratching our heads a bit. Maybe we'll pick up some Head & Shoulders while we're there. After finding the Lincoln page, shoppers can choose the MKZ, MKX or Navigator. Each opens its own dedicated page with options, pricing, and a link to a live "Lincoln personal assistant" who will liaise with a traditional dealership in the buyer's area to complete the transaction.

Now, it's hard to imagine somebody surfing Amazon, searching for DVDs and toasters happening upon the Lincoln and screaming, "I gotta have it!" And for people who are in the market for a luxury vehicle, we don't expect that they would be content with window-shopping their new car online. Especially at a mass marketer like Amazon. Maybe if they were offering the same service for all brands, but we still doubt many people would think of Amazon for cars. CarsDirect runs in a similar way and even has "cars" in its name. Plus they allow you to comparison shop and see a low price offer before you even commit. The people we'd expect this to appeal to are ones who have already decided on a Lincoln and who are in the Amazon rewards program. In case you can't tell, we don't feel like this will be a big moneymaker for Lincoln, but don't take our word for it.

"This is patently absurd. The logic eludes me," Oakland University marketing professor John Henke told The Detroit News. "This isn't something you can buy on the Web. You're going to want to test drive, to sit in it. The personal interface on a high-priced product is extremely important. You need the reassurance that the salesperson can give you.'' Well said, John.

[Source: The Toronto Star]