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GM Strikes Marketing Pact with Spanish-Language Portal Univision.com

General Motors aims to boost its online efforts to market to the U.S. Hispanic community through a strategic marketing alliance inked this week with Univision Online.

According to the one-year agreement, GM will sponsor several content areas on the Univision.com portal, a subsidiary of the country's largest Spanish-language TV broadcaster, Los Angeles-based Univision Communications. Those site areas include lifestyle "Vida Channel" and "Aventuras Del Camino," a new channel focused on automobile-related travel content and safety tips whose title translates as "Adventures of the Road".

The "Aventuras" section, scheduled to launch in late March 2001, also will feature "The GM Corner," which provides information on new GM vehicles and services. In addition, the GM Corner will provide links to GM BuyPower, the manufacturer's auto e-commerce site.

In addition, Detroit-based GM will sponsor Web chats and the Aventuras message board on the site. GM also said that it plans to give away several vehicles in promotional contests for Univision.com visitors sometime during the coming months.

"Univision.com is thrilled to be working with GM to fulfill our joint commitment to empower the U.S. Hispanic community by providing information that will enhance their daily lives," said Univision Online president Javier Saralegui. "This alliance represents another significant step towards achieving Univision.com's goal of providing U.S. Hispanics with access to online information that is in Spanish and culturally relevant."

GM and Univision.com also plan to co-sponsor a nationwide scholarship award program, recognizing Hispanic high school students for academic achievement and community service.

The agreement comes as e-GM, GM's online B2C e-commerce unit, is slowly but surely making deals to market GM autos, parts and e-commerce initiatives online through high-traffic sites. In December, the company partnered with online auctioneer eBay.

Through that agreement, the U.S. auto giant is sponsoring various auto-related areas of the site, while jointly running contests and other promotions with eBay to drive traffic to eBay Motors.

According to Competitive Media Reporting, the automaker also spent the most of any brand on online media during 2000, dropping some $47.9 million during the year.

"We are pleased to support and sponsor what has become one of the leading online destinations for the Hispanic community in the United States," said Tyrone Jordan, director of North and South American business development for e-GM. "It's important for GM to be visible among this fast-growing and important market segment."