In 2013, General Motors announced plans to sell new cars online -- well, almost. The company's Shop-Click-Drive service lets customize rides, get trade-in estimates for their current cars, secure pricing and financing for new GM vehicles, and even arrange for delivery.
Of course, state franchise laws prevent GM from completing transactions with consumers, so would-be car-buyers still have to go to dealerships to finish their deals.
Now, GM is taking the same approach with used cars, courtesy of a new website that keeps tabs on what GM is calling the Factory Pre-Owned Collection. The 30,000 Buicks, Cadillacs, Chevrolets, and GMCs included in the site's coast-to-coast inventory all have fewer than 37,000 miles on the odometer.
Cars in the collection also come with a three-month OnStar trial, a three-month SiriusXM trial, a three-day/150-mile exchange option, and an extended warranty. While that warranty remains valid, owners enjoy roadside assistance and courtesy transportation.
Like similar online sites, GM shoppers can see what other folks in their area have paid for similar models using the Kelley Blue Book Fair Market Range. They can also pull Carfax reports for listed vehicles.
- Browse the inventory to find the vehicle of their choice.
- Choose a participating GM dealer and reserve their vehicle using the Shop-Click-Drive experience.
- Finalize their purchase and take delivery of their vehicle from their selected dealer.
This is a great move for GM. In fact, we're a little surprised it's taken GM this long to launch such a service, considering how many other companies are doing similar things (e.g. CarMax, TrueCar, etc.).
Most of all, it's decidedly on-trend. We know, for example, that:
- Consumers hate visiting car dealerships.
- They especially hate haggling.
- Car dealers are among the least-trusted folks in America, lumped between advertisers and telemarketers.
- Younger shoppers expect to conduct most, if not all of their sales online.
Add all that up, and it makes perfect sense for GM to want to streamline, automate, and generally control as much of the sales experience as it can, without relying on commission-driven sellers to do so.
GM's Factory Pre-Owned Collection site debuts in February at www.FactoryPreOwnedCollection.com.