Back in the 90s, many automakers tried to cut dealerships out of the business equation by selling cars online, but OEMs found out that selling vehicles wasn't as easy as it looked. Since then, automakers have stuck to supporting its dealers on the web, and Saturn plans to take online shopping to the next level. Ten Saturn dealers are participating in a pilot that will give customers the ability to spend less time inside the dealership by using the Internet to apply for credit, schedule a test drive, settle on a price, and more.

The move makes sense for Saturn since it prides itself on its customer-friendly nature, and doing more without leaving the house or office leads to shorter dealer visits and faster transactions. One function of any sale that will difficult to do online is the valuation of the trade-in, but dealers will be able to give a ball-park figure based on make, model, mileage, and the description of the customer. If the pilot goes well, we're guessing other GM makes and the competition will start putting more of the car-buying process online. We're wondering why it took this long to get to this point in the first place.

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