CarOrder.com, the Internet buying service launched by Trilogy Software Inc., said it plans to buy three franchises this month in a first step toward building a chain of 100 'e-dealers' in the United States.
CarOrder.com announced last week that it received $100 million in initial funding from Trilogy, which will be used to buy dealerships and build a Web-based communications network. The company says it plans to raise another $500 million from private investors and a stock offering early next year.
Brian Stafford, the 22-year-old president of carOrder.com, said the company would focus strictly on Internet retailing.
He declined to identify the dealerships that carOrder.com was acquiring and would not say which manufacturers were involved.
As defined by carOrder.com, an 'e-dealer' is a retail outlet that serves primarily as a distribution and service point for new vehicle sales.
Stafford said these 'e-dealers' would operate with little or no inventory.
Trilogy, based in Austin, Texas, is a developer of software for sales, marketing and electronic commerce applications. Last month, Ford Motor Co. named Trilogy as a software partner in its push to expand Web-based businesses. In June, Renault announced that it was using Trilogy software in its European dealerships.
In February, Trilogy spun off its pcOrder.com unit, selling 2.2 million shares at $21 each in an initial public stock offering. The sale, representing 15 percent of pcOrder.com, raised $46.2 million.