• Jul 10, 2009
As part of its post-bankruptcy rebirth, General Motors plans to "experiment" selling its cars on eBay. At its press conference this morning, CEO Fritz Henderson let slip to members of the media that the automaker is engaged in talks with online auction site eBay "to revolutionize how people buy cars online." According to Henderson, GM has plans to try selling its vehicles online:
"Customers will be able to bid on actual vehicles just like they do in an eBay auction, including the option of choosing a predetermined 'Buy It Now' price... we'll be testing this and other ideas with our dealers over the next few weeks, and hope to expand and build upon them in the coming months... in all cases, our goal is to make the shopping and buying process as easy as possible for GM customers - on their time and their terms. Stay tuned."
Many individual GM dealers already use the auction powerhouse to sell vehicles, so the move isn't completely uncharted territory, but it isn't immediately clear how (or if) the automaker plans to integrate its dealer body within this process. Henderson was quick to reinforce that the company's plans with eBay are just an experiment, so as the CEO says... stay tuned.


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  • 25 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Think GM will allow Best Offer bids too?
      • 5 Years Ago
      There should be a disclaimer too: Seller might not be responsable for anything if it goes into chapter 11 (again)!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wonder how that buyer's feedback thing would work out here :-)
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's just going to be an alternative. Dealerships didn't go anywhere when you were able to purchase cars online and ebay won't make it any different. Only a select few buy a car from the web without ever driving or glancing at the car they're about to own...
        • 5 Years Ago
        I guess with too make negative feedbacks GM will be thrown off of EBay then what will they do...LOL
        • 5 Years Ago
        most car dealerships do this anyways as the article mentions.... if gm intends to completely bypass dealers to do this on their own just means more uproar. the customers would still need to pick the vehicle up at the dealer, and have it serviced at a given dealer, etc.... the dealer body is the engine that keeps these auto companies moving... gm would be wise to keep the remaining ones happy.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Get EBAY to take your trade. Call EBAY with your service problems and bid on parts. Bid on a Service Appointment. Don't give them part of it. Give them the all of it. The new GM does not sound much better than the old.
        • 5 Years Ago
        They can take your trade. Just put your old car for sale on ebay. As far as maintenance and pickup all you really need are service centres where the guys are paid hourly (plus a small bonus based on customer surveys)
      • 5 Years Ago
      Good luck to them. Anything that helps move the car buying process in a new direction is a good thing.

      I inadvertently used local car dealers as test drive locations when they fail to give me the best deal. I'd rather email for the best price, than have to deal with the idiotic back and forth with a car salesperson 'checking with the manager' on the price.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is an example of how backward their culture is. A:This is illegal without a dealer in most states. B:The dealers have been doing this for years.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It'd be better if GM would experiment with building cars people actually want to buy.
      • 5 Years Ago
      With all the information available to the buyer as far as pricing and options and the ability to compare every model side by side, the only thing the dealers can offer that they internet can't is the test drive.

      We are entering an age where a dealership will only have a few demo models, then you simply order you car and get it a week later. Dealers don't need to have acres of inventory. Test drive a car, buy it on eBay. That might work.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I have some friends who work for a company, Zag.com, that already sells cars online.

      As tgriffith pointed out, a lot of states require that new vehicles be retailed through a dealership. So what Zag does is create an online marketplace where dealers have to compete against each other on price. The consumer is presented with pre-negotiated, upfront prices from several dealerships and they just pick whichever one works best for them (based on price, proximity, and other dealer perks). The car is then retailed at the winning dealership so that the franchise laws aren't infringed.

      I am a huge fan of this new paradigm because everybody wins. The consumer gets a great price without the need for haggling, the dealer can reduce his advertising budget and continue to make money selling cars, and Zag gets a small cut of each transaction.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is expected to cause GM sales to Nigeria to increase by at least 2000%.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Good move they should start pushing states to drop the antiquated laws that require dealership involvement in online sales.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Cut the dealer out!
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