• Nov 18, 2006
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]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      ALL FILLIPONIO AND THE SILLY MARKETING PROF QUOTED IN THE ARTICLE HAS TO DO IS READ THE COMMENTS. (I fortunately did not go to Oakland U for marketing, but to UC Berkeley, which is next to Oakland, CA, lol)

      WHO MIGHT BUY A LINCOLN FROM AMAZON?

      WOMEN
      BUSY PEOPLE WHO DONT PICK A CAR TO DEATH
      PEOPLE WHO WOULD RATHER EAT ENGINE OIL THAN EXPOSE THEMSELVES TO MEETING POTENTIALLY SHARKY CAR SALESPEOPLE, CLOSERS, FINANCE PEOPLE
      WOMEN

      EVEN IF IT SELLS A TOTAL OF 3 CARS, IT PUTS LINCOLN INTO THE MAINSTREAM, RATHER THAN JUST AT SUNNY ACRES RETIREMENT HOME OR THE LIMO LINE AT THE AIRPORT.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The new Lincoln front gill looks like a cheese grater. They might sell the car under kitchen accessories - The largest cheese grater now only $35,000.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The point of this deal is NOT to directly sell cars.

      It's a marketing partnership. Lincoln pays Amazon for generating the webpage and getting traffic to it. Lincoln gets more visibility for their cars and potentially some sales leads.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The personal interface on a high-priced product is extremely important. You need the reassurance that the salesperson can give you.
      • 8 Years Ago
      It makes a lot of sense to me . . . leverage Amazon's upscale users and reach buyers in a truly unique way.

      I applaud Lincoln for trying something different.
      • 8 Years Ago
      i've never had a pleasent experiance from a dealership, be it an import dealership or a domestic dealership.
      • 8 Years Ago
      i'd say greg hit the nail on the head. given i can't even afford a car like this, and i'm probably 10 years out from considering something like this but i did just spend 10-15 minutes between the amazon site and the Lincoln website, learning and building a vehicle.

      i'd say mission accomplished.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Perfect for the 24/7 gaming shut-in. Not for me though...I need to drive it...

      Stoneman
      http://www.stonemanautoreview.com
      • 8 Years Ago
      So, they deliver by mail to your door?
      Bet the overnight shipping cost is bitch!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Uhmm.. I would bet the 'marketing' people who will speak out against this are 'TV' specialists.

      If a consumer stumbled across the Lincoln page at Amazon.... interacted with a representitive.... and set up a test drive at their local dealer and wound up buying the car... it was well worth it.

      Smart Move on Lincolns part actually, sure... old dinosours like Larry King 'never use the internet' and 'never will'.... but the generation behind him are on it everyday of the week and are 'NOT WATCHING TV'

      I am sure with customer follow ups.. incentive coupons from the online rep... there will be no problem tracking to see if a potential buyer bought a car or not.. or wasn't ready.... and would wind up getting emails once a month or so..... all of this will keep the potential buyer up to speed on product offerings and keeping the Brand Name imprinted on the potential buyers mind... which is what advertising is all about.

      It's a great idea.
      • 8 Years Ago
      This is, unfortunately, the wave of the future for marketing ANYTHING.

      I'm somewhat new to the web, and so at first I couldn't understand why any company would buy YOUTUBE.COM. I then realized that getting people to your site (in this case a physical dealership) or a virtual one is aided and abetted by just having your marketing/commercial "show up" anywhere and everywhere. This is nothing more than a commercial....but on the web instead of on your TV.

      As for buying a vehicle, any vehicle through a website....hasn't stopped EBAY.

      But I really got a loud laugh over the closing lines of this piece:

      "You need the reassurance that the salesperson can give you."
      What reassurance is that? The reassurance that the salesperson has themselves and/or their dealership in the forefront of the deal....with the poor customer last in the ranking of priority? There's a reason most folks say they would rather go to a dentist than visit a car dealership to buy a car. They don't feel very reassured that they will leave the dealership feeling satisfied.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Anything that breaks the dealer stranglehold is to be applauded. Imagine if each manufacturer just put up showrooms with one of each model in there and let you order the car you want in the colours you want... Or even just pick out of existing national inventory.