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GM gassing up test program to sell cars online

The Detroit-based automotive giant is working with seven car dealers in the Minneapolis area to sell Oldsmobile cars and trucks to customers via the Internet.

General Motors said it plans to begin selling cars online to consumers next month.

As part of a test program, the Detroit-based automotive giant is working with seven car dealers in the Minneapolis area to sell Oldsmobile cars and trucks to customers via the Internet. Buyers will be able to configure a car, select a dealer, and get a guaranteed price--all via the Web, said Mike Gardner, a GM spokesman.

Depending on the results of the test and others that will follow in coming months, GM said it hopes to bring the offering to the rest of the United States by the end of next year.

GM's move follows Ford Motor's announcement that it will form a similar network of services with its 4,200 dealers.

Gardner said GM's new 90-day pilot program guarantees a maximum price, which will typically be below the sticker price, based on recent transactions in the region and dealer availability.

The pilot program will require a dealer to handle the final paperwork, Gardner said.