Can Amazon Crack the Car Parts Market?

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Amazon has made headlines several times recently for its push into the automotive aftermarket. Between engine oils, tires and batteries, Amazon has been making a splash in the industry. The question is, how far can the company go? FOX 2 News, out of St. Louis, recently published an article about this very topic.

The Amazon Automotive store began in 2006, with new services being added regularly. It now partners with Sears, Pep Boys and Monro Muffler Brake for installation of online tire sales. Amazon’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals included car battery jump starters and wiper blades. Between DIY customers and online shoppers choosing the ship-to-store option, Amazon is gaining ground, but it may be tapping the brakes when it comes to hard parts.

Advance Auto Parts has an advantage over Amazon in some ways. The knowledge, experience, distribution network and relationships with auto parts suppliers gives Advance an edge, as they can stock and deliver a large inventory of parts with same-day and next-day delivery. AutoZone and O’Reilly also carry similar advantages.

It’s a big risk for Amazon to try to stock and sell so many different parts, some of which are bulky and are specific to a car’s make and model, without solid experience in the field. Quick distribution of this inventory is another complication. Manufacturers may also hesitate to sell through Amazon, given its tendency to take over businesses. However, Amazon could reduce Advance’s edge with their prices, generally 29% lower than traditional competitors on top-selling items, according to a MoffettNathanson analysis.

A new deal with Walmart may offer Advance a boost in the online and DIY market, further intensifying competition with Amazon.

The original story can be found on

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