Volvo will launch its new S60 sedan online rather than on television to avoid high advertising costs during the run-up to the November presidential election.
Volvo, a subsidiary of the Ford Motor Co., struck a deal with Internet service provider America Online, which has an estimated 24 million subscribers. Ford also has stopped producing television advertisements during the Screen Actors Guild strike against the advertising industry.
The deal with AOL is unique in the auto industry because carmakers rely heavily on television to whet consumers' appetites for new models.
Under the deal, Volvo will buy banner ads throughout AOL and offer AOL subscribers free options valued at up to $2,100 on the S60, which has a base price of $26,500. The ads will link to a Volvo Web site, where the company will sponsor a giveaway of 10 S60s and trips to Sweden.
The ads will begin Oct. 9. The car goes on sale Nov. 1.