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Amazon launches new hub for car buyers — but isn't selling them itself

Amazon has launched a new hub to help customers research and compare cars. Amazon Vehicles lets users check out specs and read reviews on a range of vehicles, from convertibles to SUVs to trucks, and Amazon says it hope the site will create a new "automotive community." And while the information on-site does include recommending pricing from manufacturers, Amazon isn't selling any cars itself — at least for now.

In a press statement, Amazon's automotive head Adam Goetsch said the company wants to "support customers during one of the most important, research-intensive purchases in their lives." He adds that the information on the site will be "enhanced by the ability to tap into the knowledge, opinions, and experiences of other car owners within the Amazon customer community."

This isn't the company's only foray into automotive matters recently. Earlier this week, it also partnered with Hyundai to let potential customers order up test drives right from the retailer's website. This is only a limited pilot program, but could save customers the headache of getting the hard sell from a dealer (at least initially), and would also dovetail neatly with this recent news. 

Amazon Vehicles will also point customers toward the Amazon Automotive store — a place where they can actually buy products, but only accessories like carseats, and replacement parts. If Amazon can create a community of interested and active car owners though (and hey, they've got the Top Gear presenters inbound), then it could be teeing itself up to expand into actual sales. A report from CNET says that when pressed on this point, a spokesperson for Amazon would only give the company's typical brush-off: "We have nothing more to share at this time."