- More than 220 dealers join promotion
- Up to 20,000 new vehicles online
- ‘Buy it Now’ or ‘Best Offer’
FORGET buying baby clothes, TVs and designer shoes online – the new General Motors in the US is selling cars on eBay.
The auction and sales website is teaming up with 225 Californian GM dealers – including Chevrolet, GMC, Buick and the now-defunct Pontiac brands – in a claimed first-promotion to “click and buy” new vehicles.
The gm.ebay.com site went live this week and will run until September 8 in the US.
GM says car buyers will be able look at up to 20,000 vehicles in California dealer stocks online and will be able to ask questions, value a trade-in, compare and negotiate prices, arrange financing and payment.
The website will offer vehicles for sale in a format familiar to current eBay sales: “Buy It Now” or “Best Offer”.
Vice-president of eBay Motors, Rob Chesney, said more than 12 million individual car shoppers visited the website every month.
“Through this program, we are helping GM dealers to extend their physical showroom while at the same time delivering to our buyers the great deals and broad selection they expect from eBay,” he says.
GM US sales vice-president Mark LaNeve says the partnership is reinventing the car-buying experience in California.
“As the dealer showroom expands from the parking lot to the laptop, this makes it easier for a customer to browse available new-car inventory, make an offer, buy it now, or send a message asking for more information from a dealer all at the customer’s convenience,” Mr LaNeve said.
The troubled carmaker quotes research from J.D. Power & Associates that shows more than 75 per cent of new-vehicle buyers in 2008 used the internet during their shopping and research process, a five per cent increase on the previous year.
However, in Australia GM Holden spokesman Scott Whiffin says Holden has no plans to embark on a sales plan with eBay but will watch the US experiment.
John Paul Strong
John Paul Strong combines his two decades of automotive marketing experience with a team of more than 140 professionals as owner and CEO of Strong Automotive.