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In an attempt to boost sagging sales, General Motors partnered with online seller eBay to offer a limited set of new vehicles for sale in California. The program (called an “experiment” by GM) ended September 30, with the auto maker reporting limited interest and unrealistically low offers. Dealers, however, indicated that the program ended too soon. The response from eBay was mixed. Vice President Rob Chesney said the company had “no expectations” and would use the experience to learn how to improve new car sales online.


  1. What type of business innovation does the General Motors program represent? Can you make a case for more than one type?
  2. Would you categorize this approach as sustainable innovation? Why or why not?
  3. Referring back to Chapter 8, what kind of e-business strategy is this? If it were successful, what is the likelihood that it would produce a competitive advantage?

SOURCE: G. A. Fowler, S. Morrison, & S. Terlep, “GM, eBay End Online Sales Effort,” Wall Street Journal (Retrievable online at

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