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CarsDirect Gaining on the Field

July 29, 1999|Jonathan Gaw

Sherman Oaks-based CarsDirect.com, the online auto-selling service started seven months ago by Pasadena-based Idealab, said Wednesday that it has become one of the 20 largest car retailers in North America, selling more than $1.5 million in vehicles each day. CarsDirect, which got a relatively late start against such companies as Irvine-based Autobytel.com and Microsoft Corp.'s CarPoint, said it sells nearly 1,000 vehicles a month and that it has signed up 1,100 car dealers in 40 states that have agreed to sell cars through the service. Unlike most of its competitors, which act as referral services for buyers to dealers, CarsDirect buys cars from dealers and resells them to consumers, pocketing the difference between the two prices.

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