GM dealers to take e-bay route to sell cars in California

In a bid to cut its marketing costs, GM dealers will now use e-commerce website e-bay to sell the automaker's Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Pontiac brands. From tomorrow, over 225 of the company's California dealers will begin using the online shopping and auction service. 

With a banner tagged with the punchline, 'Our best cars. Your best offer', E-bay has set up a new sub-domain, gm.ebay.com, to provide the service. GM's move comes as it is trying to revitalise its sales as part of its board's strategy. (See: Market share top priority, with early product launches: GM chairman)

The three-step buying process involves selecting a make and model, offering a price, and arranging for finance and delivery with a local dealer if the deal is through. Some 20,000 vehicles are reportedly up for sale online.

The online sales will also see a 42-per cent reduction in the number of GM's US dealers to 3,600 by the end of next year.

Although the online sales programmed is scheduled to end in September, it may be extended further, according to the company's sales chief, Mark LaNeve.

The California region was selected as the target zone for online selling as it was harder hit by the downturn. GM enjoys a lesser market share in California than its countrywide figure, which stands at 19 per cent.