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Kia, eBay Launch Online Shopping Service

DETROIT (AP) — Kia Motors America and eBay Motors have joined to set up an online shopping service.

More than 345 Kia dealers will list their vehicle inventory on the site so people can shop from their home and make offers on the vehicles, Kia said Monday in a statement.

Nearly half of Kia's dealerships in the U.S. already have signed up for the program in just two weeks, and more are signing on every day, Tom Loveless, vice president of sales for Kia in the U.S., said in the statement.

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Kia, quoting research firm J.D. Power and Associates, said Internet auto shopping is up 17% so far this year, and 79% of all auto shoppers use a third-party website before making a purchase.

Kia, a South Korean brand which makes the Sorento crossover vehicle, Forte small car and the funky Soul small box truck, has seen U.S. sales rise 14.6% so far this year, and is hoping the eBay deal will build on the growth. Kia's growth has surpassed the overall U.S. market, which is up 10.6% over the first 10 months of last year, according to Autodata Corp.

General Motors tried a partnership with eBay last year to sell cars through California dealers, but said it was canceled to focus on broader national marketing programs.

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