When General Motors announced its post-bankruptcy turnaround plan, one of the more obscure items in its strategy was to sell vehicles through eBay Motors. That plan goes into action tomorrow, as 225 of GM's 250 California dealerships begin piloting the program.

Under the program, GM will sell Chevrolet, Pontiac, GMC and Buick models on the popular auction site, with the transaction being handled by a nearby dealership. Some of the auctions will be held with a bottom line "buy it now" price, while others will be bid-style sales. Car buyers will also be able to ask dealers questions through the site and work out financing online, without having to deal with anyone in person. The pact with eBay includes two new URLs to access the GM portal of eBay Motors, as customers can enter through gm.ebay.com and chevy.ebay.com (both inactive until tomorrow). Customers can also access deals through the main eBay site.

While GM's company-wide involvement in the program is new, dealership participation in eBay Motors auctions has been going on for years. The pact between GM and eBay will add functionality to the process, though, while giving dealers a greater online presence. Suspiciously absent from the program is GM's Cadillac brand. We don't know exactly why GM chose not to include its luxury arm in the eBay auctions, but we suspect that the decision has something to do with giving customers a more premium, coddled car-buying experience. The trial program is reportedly set to expire on September 8.

[Source: Free Press, GM's FastLane]

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