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Car Dealers vs the Web Episode IV: GM as New Hope

cartechboy (2660665) writes | about 9 months ago

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cartechboy (2660665) writes "Car dealers may be in for a new battle, and it turns out existing car manufacturers may join the fun. Tesla Motors began the rebellion by trying to sell electric cars directly to buyers. Car dealers have battled that effort state-by-state and even complained to the DMV about Tesla's website. But things just got a little more interesting. General Motors today announced plans to expand its new web-based shopping tool (aka a shopping web site) that allows customers to bypass showrooms when buying new cars. The idea is to use the Web as a giant test platform to see if the automaker can better target people who, well, use the Web to buy things. The catch is that the web app, called 'Shop-Click-Drive' will allow users to do *almost* everything they'd do at a dealer: customize the car, get pricing and financing and even arrange for delivery. But then when you push the button, your "purchase" will be routed to GM's network of 4,300 dealers, so you still have to visit a local dealer to sign on the dotted line. Even with this limitation, the move is still making dealers nervous. GM dealers aren't required to participate in the web based test, and company officials say they have had some dealers turn it down."

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