GM to stop selling cars through eBay

Associated Press / September 30, 2009

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DETROIT - General Motors Co. said yesterday that it is concluding its partnership with eBay Inc., in which the automaker used the auction site to sell new cars through California dealerships, as it shifts focus to a broader national marketing programs.

GM and eBay said the program was scheduled to end today and was not canceled for lack of participation. GM spokesman John McDonald deemed the program a success because it helped the company improve strategies to reach car buyers who typically don’t consider GM products.

“We’re taking what we learned from eBay and applying it to our digital and social marketing media marketing strategies,’’ he said. “From our view, it was a success.’’

Car shoppers in California were able to negotiate a price with a dealer or purchase the vehicle at a fixed price and pick it up at a dealership.

The eBay site received 1.5 million visits, producing 15,000 leads for dealers. About 227 California dealerships participated. GM and eBay did not say how many cars were sold.

McDonald said GM would focus on its new, national marketing campaigns and its money-back guarantee program in which dissatisfied buyers can return their vehicles within 60 days.

EBay said it may seek to develop similar programs with GM and other automakers, but did not offer specifics.