Autobytel.com Inc. plans to launch an auction-based program for car dealers to sell used vehicles to each other.
The move comes at a time when the online auctions format, led by stock market darling EBay Inc., is hot and the market for business-to-business Internet commerce applications is growing, as more businesses upgrade their computer systems and revamp their strategies to accommodate the online world.
The new Wholesale.autobytel.com will open April 1 initially for the 2,700 car dealers belonging to the Autobytel.com network, and may be opened to other used-car wholesalers in the ensuing two months, said Tim Walker, Autobytel.com's director of pre-owned products.
Irvine-based Autobytel.com, which plans to go public next month, already has an area on its Web site where individuals can sell vehicles, and Walker said that the company probably will introduce an auction format for the for-sale-by-owner area in the third quarter of this year. The company said it also has plans to develop auction systems for vehicle-related products such as car stereos and parts.