When General Motors CEO Fritz Henderson said that online shopping was coming during a press conference last month, it was before the details were agreed with eBay. Now they have been resolved and couple of hundred participating California Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Pontiac dealers will be open for business online.
The new car shopping website, gm.ebay.com, will be available to consumers from August 11 through September 8, 2009 will make online shopping a reality. It comes at a time when GM marketing is having trouble with sales; they are off 19% in July while the industry was off only 12%. It is not immediately clear, how the program differs from those of the many dealers who are already independently conducting business online, except that it offers easier access to many dealers at on web site.
Consumers will be able to browse hundreds of dealer online showrooms, ask questions, negotiate prices, and arrange financing and payment to purchase a new 2008, 2009 or “select” 2010 car, crossover or truck models.
More than 225 GM dealers in California have agreed to the pilot program. GM says that shoppers can at any given time expect to see a wide selection of up to 20,000 new GM vehicles at “very competitive prices.”
Vehicles will be offered through eBay Motors’ standard formats such as “Buy It Now,” where shoppers agree to pay the advertised price, and “Best Offer,” where buyers indicate the price they are willing to pay and can negotiate online with the dealer.