GM expands online shopping for cars across U.S. dealer network

An online shopping service for General Motors Co cars and trucks is being expanded to GM dealers throughout the United States.

The No. 1 U.S. automaker said on Wednesday that its 4,300 Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac dealers in the United States can now offer the service, dubbed "Shop-Click-Drive," to prospective customers.

The service allows shoppers to choose a vehicle, get estimated pricing, review available incentives, choose financing and insurance products, get information about a trade-in and apply for financing online, GM said.

GM began testing the service earlier this year in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin and then expanded it to 100 showrooms in eight states. So far, about 1,000 vehicles have been sold through the service, GM spokeswoman Ryndee Carney said.

"We want to make it easier and simpler for dealers to connect with customers who are looking to combine the convenience of online shopping with the personal service of a neighborhood dealership," Kurt McNeil, GM vice president for U.S. sales operations, said in a statement.

He said GM worked with dealers to develop the online tool.

GM Chief Executive Dan Akerson said last week that he wanted more customers to start buying vehicles online, using the existing dealer network.

Dealers can opt to use the tool on their websites but must first meet certain requirements, including undergoing customer experience training, Carney said. GM is encouraging dealers to offer a concierge service for online buyers to arrange test drives or even take delivery of new vehicles at home, she said.

(Reporting by Ben Klayman; Editing by John Wallace)