18 September 2000

General Motors, the world’s largest automobile manufacturer, will launch a test program next month for selling cars online.

The motor firm will work with seven Minneapolis dealers to provide an internet sales service for Oldsmobile cars and trucks. Customers will be able to select a dealer and a guaranteed price for their own customised Oldsmobile.

GM is hoping to bypass online referral and broker sites, keeping deals within the system and avoiding referral fees.
The 90-day program will guarantee a price based on recent local transactions, often below the sticker price. This meant convincing the dealers to cooperate. “There's no question the internet is here to stay,” said Steve Howard, a GM dealer from Iowa, “Dealers know this has to work”.

News source: New York Times