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News > Technology
GM mulls Web site
August 14, 2000: 5:31 p.m. ET

Largest U.S. automaker would offer Web users research on its competitors
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - General Motors Corp. announced Monday that it would consider forming a Web site to provide consumers with unbiased information about all makes and models of cars and trucks.

The site would be separate from GM's current Web Site, GMBuyPower.com, in hopes of attracting customers who prefer to shop for new vehicles on independent third-party Web sites such as Autobytel.com, GM Spokesman Pat Morrissey said.

graphicAuto dealers often pay $20 to $30 per referral to belong to such third-party sites. Consumers would be able to order GM cars on the new Web site and obtain research and dealership information for other brands, Morrissey said.

Detroit-based General Motors (GM: Research, Estimates), which had annual revenue of $177 billion in 1999, produces the Buick, Pontiac, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, Saturn and other vehicle brands.

Details of the proposed Web site, such as pricing and referral fees, have yet to be worked out. The company plans to poll its 7,700 dealers in September to determine interest in the proposed site.

If all goes according to plan, the new site could be launched by early 2001, said Micheal Gluk, director of business development for eGM.

"This is, we believe, a click-and-brick industry," said Gluk. "Most of the third-party portals are just click. We want to strengthen the click-and-brick because ultimately you and your dealer should feel comfortable in this process."

Gluk expects that consumers looking to buy competitors' models would be referred to their dealers or directly to the competing automaker. GM buyers would be referred to GM dealers and might be able to view available inventories of cars and trucks.

Jerry Seiner, a GM dealer from Salt Lake City said he and other dealers first approached the company about the idea of such a Web site a year ago, just as third-party sites were coming online and gaining in popularity.

Shares of GM closed up 1 to 64-1/4 Monday. Back to top

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