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eBay, Saturn team on used car sales

The carmaker and its retailers will inspect used cars that will be sold by the online auctioneer and on the co-branded eBay-AutoTrader.com site.

eBay and carmaker Saturn today announced they are teaming to sell used cars at the online auctioneer's Web site.

Saturn, a unit of General Motors, and its retailers will inspect used cars--not limited to Saturn or GM models--that will be sold on eBay and on the co-branded eBay-AutoTrader.com site.

For Saturn, the move comes as sales of its cars have slumped dramatically. Less than a month ago, the carmaker said it will lay off 490 workers from its Wilmington, Del.-based assembly plant--about 20 percent of its 2,413 unionized employees.

Meanwhile, eBay has bet on tapping into the growing number of consumers shopping for used cars on the Internet. The number of used-car buyers seeking help on the Internet almost doubled last year to 26 percent and could reach more than 50 percent by 2003, according to a J.D. Power & Associates survey.

In March, the online auction leader teamed with AutoTrader.com to create the Internet's largest auction site for buying and selling used cars.

Financial terms of today's deal were not disclosed.