Amazon may become an online car dealer in the United Kingdom and many other European countries, according to a report from German news outlet Automobilwoche. The Seattle, Washington-based tech giant is seemingly looking to expand its e-commerce operations by adding cars to the list of products available for purchase through its online platform and has reportedly already taken the initial steps to do so; the company is currently said to be in the process of hiring staff and drafting a business plan for running its online car dealership. Rumors of the firm looking to start selling vehicles online have initially emerged on Saturday, though Amazon has yet to comment on the matter in any official capacity.
One Christoph Moeller has allegedly been hired to lead Amazon's new car dealership unit, with the firm opting for an industry veteran that previously worked as an automotive manager and Associate Partner at business advisory company Oliver Wyman. Moeller's LinkedIn profile seemingly confirms as much, with him revealing that he left Oliver Wyman in February and joined Amazon's ranks in March this year. Amazon's online car dealership is said to be operating out of Luxembourg which may later draw attention from European regulators due to the fact that the company's choice of headquarters was likely primarily prompted by its relatively aggressive tax avoidance practices that have landed it in trouble with a number of competent tax authorities on the Old Continent in recent years. While the business is apparently headquartered in Luxembourg, it's currently said to be looking at the United Kingdom as a possible test market where it will initially start selling cars online in an effort to determine whether this business practice is commercially viable in the long term. Amazon is reportedly also hiring former and current car sales executives, all of which are meant to help get its latest business endeavor off the ground.
Originally founded as an eBook distributor in the '90s, Amazon quickly turned into an e-commerce and technology giant thanks to its proactive expansion practices and willingness to experiment and diversify its business. This approach led some industry analysts to believe that Amazon will become the first company to hit a $1 trillion valuation and while it remains to be seen whether that prediction comes true, an update on the company's endeavors will likely follow later this year.