DETROIT -- If you're a woman, a Web user and shopping for a vehicle, General Motors wants you.
GM is launching an expanded version of its "Women in the Driver's Seat" Web site. A limited version of the site, www.gm.com/women, was created last year to educate women about vehicle purchases and service.
The site also previews new GM vehicles and provides financing and safety information.
E-mail messages are sent to visitors who request information about specific vehicles and launches, says Cynthia Price, who manages GM's Center of Expertise Women's Market Initiative.
"GM needs to market its vehicles," and women make up 51 percent of the total population, Price says. "There's a lost opportunity if we don't speak to women in a relevant manner.
"We don't want the Web site to be a chick vehicle and alienate men," she says. "But if you communicate the relevant aspects of the vehicles to women, you're going to get men."
Price says 70 percent of female buyers research vehicles on the Internet before they visit dealerships.
Dealer Marcy Maguire, owner of Maguire Automotive Group in Princeton, N.J., says any information that helps consumers is smart marketing.
The site recognizes "that women are more than 50 percent of their buyers and involved in 80 percent of the decision-making process" for vehicle purchases, says Maguire, who owns two Saturn dealerships, a Chevrolet dealership and a Nissan store.
"So it's all a plus," she says.
Maguire says she would like GM to tweak gm.com/women to provide information to first-time buyers and college students.
The expanded site was launched on May 6 with a revamped design and updated information. A sweepstakes offers prizes such as $10,000 applied to the purchase of a new GM vehicle, a day at the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving and online shopping trips.
Checklists on the Web site tell consumers what they need to know about going for a test drive, negotiating a deal and taking delivery of a vehicle, Price says.
The site also allows GM to track potential customers, she adds.
Martin Walsh, GM's executive director of marketing and sales support, calls gm.com/women "an essential part of improving awareness and consideration among women for GM's vehicles."
GM also is making data on the Web site available in printed guides. The guides are being distributed at dealerships and at GM's Auto Show in Motion events.
You may e-mail Jamie LaReau at