general motors

Tim Bradshaw

General Motors’ pullback from Facebook ads in May became a touchstone moment for doubts about the social network’s business model, just before it went public.

But as we report in today’s FT analysis of the growing turf war in the social networking market, GM has been spending money on Twitter for two years – and is now “beyond experimenting” with ads there. Read more

David Gelles

Listing its cars on Ebay was evidently not a novel enough gimmick to drive new sales to slumping Detroit automaker General Motors.

A month and a half after announcing their “virtual showroom”, America’s biggest automaker and biggest online auction site are calling off their partnership.

The trial  was set to end on September 30, and will not be renewed. The trial programme, which let California buyers haggle with local dealers online, was heralded as a “win-win for both sides” if it worked.

But after 50 or so days, it looks as if it didn’t. The Ebay site may have attracted 1.5m hits, producing 15,000 leads for dealers. But neither Ebay nor GM would say how many cars were sold, suggesting that the results were less than stellar. Read more

David Gelles

When Ebay and General Motors last week announced they would partner to let California buyers haggle with dealers online, observers said the deal would be a “win-win for both sides”, if it worked.

After a week of the arrangement Ebay released some figures that suggest if the deal’s not working already, it might.

Through August 17 the new co-branded “virtual showroom” got 630,000 visits, and users performed just shy of 1m searches of GM inventory. More importantly, the company said about 2,400 new car buyers had entered into talks with dealers as a result of the promotion.

But Ebay didn’t release the most important number — how many new vehicles it has helped GM sell. Read more