So what happens to the Auto Industry when Amazon’s Prime Air is a reality? What’s the impact on orders for delivery vehicles? The answers to these questions are not known, but the questions are legitimate and will need to be addressed far in advance of the launch of Amazon’s air arrival.
Looking at a small sliver of the delivery vehicle business: The United States Postal Service. At present, the United States Postal Service has over 200,000 vehicles on the road! Grumman supplies the majority of the delivery vehicles for both the U.S. and Canadian postal services with the Grumman LLV, specially designed for mail service. The cost of a Grumman LLV to the USPS is around $12,000. In 2009, the USPS estimated that it would cost $4.2 billion to replace the entire fleet. That’s just one delivery vehicle customer.
In an interesting article in Automotive News, Gabe Nelson explains Why automakers should pay attention to Amazon’s drones.
“Amazon may not specialize in building drones, but it knows retail and logistics as well as any company out there. And just like Google with its autonomous cars, it would love to take human drivers and pilots out of the transportation equation. That would have huge implications for how the machinery sold by the auto industry — cars, trucks, and so on — are designed and marketed.”
Perhaps the solution for the U.S. Automotive Industry is a name change, The U.S. Automotive and Drone Industry!