GM’s grand experiment with Ebay will be over by the end of the month, reports Automotive News [sub]. GM had extended the program once, and was considering continuing it into October. So why didn’t they? Paging GM spokesfolks… we have a cleanup on aisle nine…
The need to roll eBay out nationally isn’t there as it was when we first rolled out the pilot. At the time we had no large, national marketing programs in the system, so that made sense at the time. What we’ve come up with since then are two large, national programs that are already in place.
In other words, failure was not an option… but only because there were no parameters for failure. Gosh that sounds exactly like what Mark LaNeve said when he was asked why the program was being extended despite generating what can only be described as weak sales. Come to think of it, how was the California-only Ebay experiment a substitute for a “large, national marketing program?” More importantly, did GM sell a single vehicle on Ebay?
GM’s spokesman calls the program “very successful,” but the company is still refusing to reveal how many sales it attributes to the online auction site. What they will say is that the 16,000 vehicles listed by GM’s California dealers generated more than 15,000 leads, a statistic that implies the Ebay pilot could have been worth developing further. Well, might have implied, if the term “leads” weren’t so damningly nebulous. Even less helpful is GM’s claim that 1.5 million visitors looked at GM’s section of the site, performing 1.9 million eBay searches. The only conclusion left to draw is that GM has plenty of statistics but it doesn’t want to share for reasons that are inexplicable now that the program has been canceled.
Anyone who bought a GM vehicle through the official GM-Ebay program is encouraged to contact me at email@example.com with evidence.