General Motors – keen to become world leader in e-commerce – has signed its first pan-regional online alliance with Universo Online, Latin America’s number-one ISP.

The two companies will merge online and offline marketing programs in order to access an “unprecedented number” of South American consumers. UOL claims 14.6 million subscribers, while GM has almost 1000 dealers in the area.

The partnership involves advertising, co-branded micro-sites, sponsorship of major channels such as the vehicle-devoted UOL Carro, content swapping, e-marketing efforts, promotions and premium placement for the Chevrolet marque on the UOL portal.

“Latin America has become a GM breeding ground for new ideas and internet benchmarks,” revealed Mark Hogan, president of internet unit e-GM and a group vp. “GM employees and dealers are embracing the Internet to enhance our competitive advantage in the region.”

With e-commerce revenues of $250m so far, GM is Latin America’s biggest online seller. Research conducted for the auto giant suggests that two-thirds of consumers intending to purchase a new car within the next three years are also web users who have bought at least one item online.

The alliance will launch first in Argentina, Brazil and Colombia, with a subsequent staggered roll-out across the rest of Latin America.

News source: AdAge Global