Thursday, March 02, 2006

GREEN CAR UPDATE: Virginia Dealer Creates Blog to Sell GM Flex-Fuelers

Royal Chevrolet-Cadillac in Lynchburg, VA., has created Corn-Fueled Chevy, a blog to help market the flex-fuel vehicles it sells.

There is only one post on the blog so far and only 36 visits to the site this week, according to its Site Meter data.

But the average time spent by each visitor exceeds five minutes, so the site appears to be on the "sticky" side, which ought to encourage the Royal dealership. It will be interesting to see if the site produces additional showroom traffic or any actual sales.

Is GM helping dealers like Royal put up these web sites? I wonder if it would be financially feasible for GM dealers to become E85 retailers? That might make a dent in the current paucity of E85 refueling locations.

Also worth mention here is Corn-Fueled Chevy's links to the official GM E85 web site and to the CNN Money tracking of today's crude oil price per barrel. Looks like Texas light sweet is going for $62.83 per barrel today.

Now, will the Royal folks take the next steps to insure their site becomes a source of a strong cyber buzz? Keep on eye on this one, it might just turn out to be a great new way for individual dealers to take commercial advantage of trends in commodity pricing, politics and the energy industry.

UPDATE: Corndog Says No GM Help

Just got an email from "Corndog," the creator of Corn-Fueled Chevy. He hasn't received any help from GM in putting the blog up but he shows no lack of enthusiasm for General Motors' new emphasis on E85 and flex-fuel vehicles:

"To answer your question, no, GM has not helped us with our blog but I'm appreciative of the ad campaign they are providing. Quite frankly, I just put the blog up last week, my plan is to put some 'teasers' in the local paper to see if I can get some people to go onto the site, learn about ethanol, and begin talking about it.

"GM has made flex-fuel capable the most popular engines we sell; we are going to be selling them anyway. We thought we'd attempt to do a little educating and yes, politicking, as a few years from now, the owners of these vehicles may be very glad they purchased them.

"I suppose I just got tired of all the media adulation of hybrid technology, and this is also an attempt to defend GM a little bit, at a time when we need defending. For me, bio-fuels show far more promise to solve our 'addiction' problem than hybrid technology. I think GM has picked the winner here, not Toyota."

Thanks for writing, Corndog. Keep us posted on your progress.