Don’t tell anyone — they wouldn’t believe you, anyway — but General Motors is trying to compete with its competition:
General Motors Co and eBay are launching a test program in California that will allow consumers to negotiate with dealers and buy new vehicles online, the companies said on Monday.
The car shopping website — gm.ebay.com — marks a departure from the way new vehicles have traditionally been sold in the United States and is aimed at helping GM recapture lost market share a month after it emerged from bankruptcy.
The online marketplace provides the No. 1 U.S. automaker with a new venue to sell new vehicles as it cuts the number of U.S. dealerships by more than 40 percent to 3,600 by the end of 2010 as part of its efforts to return to profitability.
Well — no.
By the mid-’90s, when it was obvious to everyone (everyone outside the RenCen, that is) that GM’s autos were no longer competitive with imports and transplants, GM had choices to make. They could have chosen to plow their massive truck/SUV profits into their flailing auto offerings. They could have chosen to cut out their much-hated (and deservedly so) dealer network, and sold vehicles online — and kept more profits for themselves. They could have chosen not to waste all their money on money-sucking ventures like Hummer, SAAB, FIAT, and the rest of their ill-fated foreign ventures.
But — no.
Instead they chose to put off the inevitable until, well, it happened. And they stuck us with the tab. So do yourself a favor and wait until Ford or Honda or Mercedes or some decent company starts selling online.