The expansion in scope of the auction giant took another big step today with the announcement of a deal with General Motors that will see Ebay become a major retailer of new cars. The scale of the deal suggests a strategic move into primary retailing, alongside the second hand market the brand started out in. 20,000 cars from over 200 Californian dealers will be available from today, in a move that is clearly a pilot ahead of a wider repositioning.
EBay visitors will be able to visit web pages like gm.ebay.com and chevy.ebay.com, where they can browse new 2008 and 2009 vehicles, ask dealers questions and figure out financing.
Lorrie Norrington, president of eBay marketplaces, said that if the trial is successful, it could be extended across the whole of the US, and that similar schemes with other carmakers may also be launched.