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Dealer, finance partnerships needed first

Car-shopping sites could move into sales

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Third-party shopping sites are consumer-research havens. Could they one day become platforms where people purchase vehicles — without visiting a dealership or dealership website?

The digital retailing wave rolls on as more dealership groups embrace the concept of consumers buying vehicles online. Some use shopping portals from tech companies such as Roadster while others, such as AutoNation Inc. and Penske Automotive Group Inc., have developed their buying sites in-house.

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