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GM gets back in the Super Bowl game

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DETROIT (AP)

General Motors Co. is bringing its ads back to football's biggest game.

The automaker says its Chevrolet brand is returning to next year's Super Bowl because the game falls in the middle of several new model introductions.

GM announced in May of 2012 that it was walking away from this year's National Football League championship game, saying a price increase from the CBS network was too steep. At the time, the automaker said it couldn't justify spending well over $4 million for 30-second TV spot.

Later the company dismissed the marketing director who made the decision, largely related to a huge advertising contract with Manchester United, the British soccer club.

On Friday, however, GM announced that it had reversed course, saying that the Feb. 2 game at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., comes as the Chevrolet brand is rolling out a dozen new models. The rollouts started at the middle of this year and run to the end of next year.

The model launches include the Chevrolet Silverado, which began arriving in showrooms this summer. It's GM's top-selling vehicle and an important profit center for the company, which makes an estimated $10,000 per truck. NFL games traditionally draw large audiences of male viewers, who are typical pickup truck buyers.

This year's Super Bowl ranked as the third most-watched program in U.S. television history. The Nielsen Co. said an estimated 108.4 million people watched the Baltimore Ravens' 34-31 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.

''The timing of Super Bowl XLVIII lines up perfectly with our aggressive car and truck launch plans,'' Tim Mahoney, Chevy's marketing chief, said in a statement.

The game, the first outdoor cold-weather Super Bowl, will be televised on the Fox network.

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