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Ford, Priceline.com to Test New Car Bidding in Florida

Priceline.com and Ford Motor Co. Monday teamed to launch a new offering that will allow Florida consumers to bid on new automobiles.

The program, which starts Tuesday, will allow consumers to shop online for cars and light trucks and have the option to name their own price an dpayment method. Purchase offers will be distributed directly to Ford dealerships and the first dealership to accept the offer completes the sale. The system will first query dealerships closest to the bidder's home.

If the dealers don't accommodate a buyer's offer, or have a car that is slightly different than what the buyer requested, the system will allow the dealer to electronically submit counter-offers through Priceline.com.

The news comes as Priceline.com (PCLN) continues to expand its offerings. The company recently launched a grocery shopping option for consumers in the New York metropolitan area. Consumers electronically fill out a shopping list after naming their own price for the groceries they want. Once the bids are accepted, shoppers go to a participating local store and select and purchase their items.