General Motors marketing chief Bob Lutz has given more details about the firm’s plans to start selling new cars on eBay in California.
Lutz, who has gone back on plans to retire at GM, said GM had no obligation to sell cars face to face through its dealers and innovation was needed if it was to become a world-class car maker once again.
“Let's face it, all of these online experiments will purely be for the customer to make their pre-selection of the car and ultimately that vehicle will still be delivered by a dealer,” he said.
GM dealers would put cars up for sale and once the winning bidder is confirmed, the customer would contact the dealership to arrange pick-up.
Lutz did concede that there would be problems with the scheme, however.
“There’s always one issue that can never be dealt with on an internet sale, and that’s the question of the used car that the customer wants to trade in,” he said.
“Every 10 or 15 years or so - and I’ve been in this business since 1963 - in sales and marketing some genius invents a system that’s going to eliminate car dealers. Everybody always gets excited and sometimes Wall Street puts a lot of money into it and it always fails because the franchised independent retailer is always the way to go. It always works best.”