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GM Ends Japan Internet Car Sales

October 09, 2003

General Motors Corp. stopped selling cars through the Internet in Japan after the two-year effort failed to attract many buyers, the automaker said Thursday.

GM began the effort with a 60 percent stake in an Internet auto sales company in September 2001.

Japanese automakers in which GM holds stakes — Suzuki Motor Corp. and Fuji Heavy Industries, which makes Subaru cars — each took a 20 percent stake.

But Internet auto sales failed to catch on, and the company, which handled 60 GM, Suzuki, and Subaru models, was dissolved at the end of September, according to a GM spokesman in Tokyo.

GM has not disclosed how many cars it sold through the Internet, but Fuji Heavy sold about 4,000 cars and Suzuki 1,900.

One reason the project was not popular is that papers are required for car sales in Japan making Internet sales less convenient.

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