Turns out the GM-eBay pilot in California has generated a large number of leads for new car sale departments, but below-expected sales. Even the comments from dealerships quoted in the Wall Street Journal report reflect an underlying unease with the use of technology in negotiations with consumers.
In the dealership world, a comparable online negotiation platform has generated positive publicity. DealerPeak has introduced a software program called “WideStorm” to select dealerships in Oregon that permits Web-based dealmaking for new car purchases. They claim the results have been tremendous.
We’re not sure why the same dynamic is not taking place with the eBay experiment. Nonetheless, it’s encouraging that OEM’s and dealerships are experimenting with consumer-friendly, Web-based tools.