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eBay puts auto plan into gear

The online auction company agrees to buy auto sales site Carad.com and seals an alliance with Kelley Blue Book, in hopes of encouraging dealers to sell more cars via eBay Motors.

eBay is revving up its auto auctions with two new deals.

The online auctioneer said Friday that it has agreed to acquire the assets of Carad.com, an online auction management site for car dealers, and has sealed a partnership with Kelley Blue Book, a publisher of car reviews and pricing guides.

eBay said it expects the two deals will encourage dealers to sell more cars via eBay Motors, an area of the popular auction site where the company said people sold more than $3 billion worth of vehicles and auto parts last year.

According to eBay, Carad.com's technology gives car dealers a simplified way to list and manage vehicle auctions online. The company did not disclose the financial terms of the acquisition, which it expects to complete by April.

In a separate deal, Kelley Blue Book has agreed to post relevant auto listings from eBay Motors on its Web site and to promote eBay Motors to Kbb.com visitors looking to sell used cars. The two companies have also agreed to link Kelley Blue Book's dealer-inventory software to eBay Motors, so that dealers can more easily use the online auction site as a sales tool.

eBay recently ended its marketing alliance with Autotrader.com, which lists more than 2 million online classified ads for used cars.