Ford Motor Co., Dearborn, MI, said Friday that through partnerships with its 4,200 dealerships, it will form FordDirect.com, a Web site that will allow customers to price, finance and buy Ford cars and trucks online.
The announcement came one day after Amazon.com began offering car sales on its Web site. The news indicates that online car sales may become the next virtual battleground as auto manufacturers such as Ford race independent sites such as Amazon to the market. General Motors also is partnering with its dealers and plans to launch a site in the near future.
Manufacturers are hampered by state restrictions, however. FordDirect will be run by an independent team and will be jointly owned by Ford and its dealers.
The site is expected to be operational in California next month and will be national next year.