General Motors Corp. agreed Wednesday to join Kelley Blue Book in Irvine to provide used-car prices and vehicle information on an Internet site as the world's largest auto maker seeks to reach more customers online.
Terms of the three-year agreement weren't disclosed. The companies plan a combined Web site with both brand names, hosted by GM. The Detroit-based auto maker also will make a "significant" advertising commitment to pitch the GM BuyPower Web site and GM brands through Kelley's http://www.kbb.com site.
Auto makers are trying to meet demand for online car information. About 2 million vehicle customers used online information in 1998, and the Internet will influence about 8 million new-vehicle purchases in 2003, Forrester Research Inc. said. Auto makers and dealers also are worried about losing customers to online shopping services such as Autobytel.com Inc.
The GM-Kelley Web site will offer access to information to shop for GM cars and trucks. Closely held Kelley, which provides data on vehicle pricing and value, also will give GM BuyPower a key position on the "Buy a new car" page of the popular Kelley Web site.
GM shares closed at $79.13, down 38 cents.