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The new effort has features similar to car-centric websites such as TrueCar and Autotrader. The idea is to draw more people when they are thinking about buying and fixing their cars — and potentially generating advertising revenue or partnerships with dealerships and manufacturers.
Sales at U.S. auto parts stores, led by AutoZone Inc., Advance Auto Parts Inc. and O’Reilly Automotive Inc., will grow 2.3 percent to $55 billion in sales this year, according to an August report from IBISWorld. U.S. consumers will purchase more than 14 million new cars this year and spent $37.5 billion in June, a record for the month, according to a monthly forecast from J.D. Power and LMC Automotive.
TrueCar Inc. fell 6.3 percent to $9.96 at 10:13 a.m. Thursday after the news. Autobytel Inc., which also has car-related websites, declined 2.8 percent to $16.47.
Thursday’s announcement is the latest step for Seattle-based Amazon to position itself in the day-to-day spending of its roughly 300 million customers, who can use the largest online marketplace to buy groceries, books, clothing and electronics, stream music and movies and even hire a house cleaner or landscaper. Businesses are eager to join with Amazon for its huge customer base.