General Motors division Adam Opel is today due to sign a two-year online ad partnership with AOL Time Warner.

Slated for launch at September’s Frankfurt Motor Show, the alliance will see Opel pay AOL an estimated DM10 million to DM20m ($4.3m-$8.7m). In return, the auto maker will receive premium ad locations on AOL web pages. The online giant will also highlight reviews of Opel cars and offer special discounts to its customers.

Applying initially to AOL web pages in Germany, the alliance is expected to be broadened to the rest of Europe. The venture is part of an image overhaul by Opel – which lost DM835m last year – designed to make the marque appear more exciting.

The duo may also cooperate to develop in-car internet access. Also under discussion is a scheme allowing Opel customers to follow the construction of their new car once they have ordered it. However, Opel added that online customers would still have to visit a dealer to sign a purchase contract, in order to protect its dealership network.

News source: Wall Street Journal