eBay Motors is expanding to include new cars from GM in a trial to start in California tomorrow:
The trial is part of Detroit-based GM’s turnaround plan, making more official a practice some of its dealers had already participated in on their own. It expands an existing partnership covering GM certified used vehicles sold through eBay . . .
Starting Tuesday, eBay visitors will be able to visit Web pages like gm.ebay.com and chevy.ebay.com, where they can browse new 2008 and 2009 vehicles, ask dealers questions and figure out financing . . .
Car buyers will be able to choose between the two standard options currently offered on eBay Motors: Negotiating a price with a dealer through the site or purchasing right then at a fixed price. Cars will be picked up at the dealerships.
This will likely work because cars are a commodity (literally) with only a few variables to select (sunroof, trim, etc). A test drive will probably still be required, but a buyer can do that anywhere and then buy the car online.
This scenario creates an interesting categorization challenge: Is this e-commerce or still a local purchase?