GM Puts Brakes On Online Auto Sales

GM scraps its plans to sell cars online.

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

December 22, 2001

1 Min Read

Automakers and their dealers have always had a credibility problem with Internet car shoppers. Most consumers who do research on the Web before buying a car go to independent sites to get information on vehicle specifications and prices. That poses problems for companies like General Motors Corp., which is still struggling to find the right formula for interacting with customers on the Internet.

GM last week said it may launch a Web site to collect consumer demographic data that would play down its GM affiliation while providing independent information on vehicles. The move came after the automaker decided to discontinue a project it hoped would reach shoppers through independent auto Web site Autobytel Inc.

GM had planned to create a joint venture with its dealers called AutoCentric to sell cars over the Web. The project, announced in February, would have cost $50 million to start, with GM putting up half and the rest coming from its 7,800 car dealers. But in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, the automaker said it's putting the brakes on the project.

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