Chevrolet Motor Div. plans to sail into a new niche while marketing its '95 vehicles by sponsoring the America team -- the female-crewed contender in the America's Cup race.

Chevy is the America team's team vehicle, and the division has provided the 26-member team and its staff with 20 vehicles.

"Obviously sailing is an upscale sport, the market we're going after," says Steve McAvoy, who is manager of Chevrolet passenger-car marketing. The America's Cup provides a venue to die upscale market. The second is the women's market. America gives us a unique opportunity to address a broad spectrum of the market."

Total demographics for the division show average household income the $49,000 range. Individual demographics show an income range of between $65,000 and $90,000 for the Blazer.

Four products will get the most wind from Chevy's sponsorship of the America team: Camaro, Cavalier, Blazer and Monte Carlo. "The Camaro was new in '93, the others in 95. We're focusing on our new products," Mr. McAvoy says.

"From this (upscale) per spective, we sell more vehicles over $30,000 than Mercedes, Infiniti and Lexus do individually now--and more than Mercedes, Audi, Jaguar and Porsche AG combined. They're focused on our Corvettes, on our Blazers, Suburbans and Tahoes. So its not inappropriate to be aligned with this sport when you look at the demographics they hit," he says.

Of the industry total, 46% represents vehicles registered to women. And women's influence on what the family owns is even higher. "At Chevrolet, 51% of the purchases are registered in the female marketplace," he says, adding that Chevrolet is the No. 1 marketer to women where registrations are concerned.

For 1993, Chevy's registrations for women are: Cavalier, 64%, Camaro, 51%, Cavalier, 57%; and Blazer, 39%.

Chevy will support its marketing efforts behind America with direct mail pieces, work with other America sponsors and a hookup with the Prodigy computer network, which will offer a complete schedule of America as part of the America's Cup activities.

The bowtie division also will air up to 240 reserved television spots on ESPN, which will broadcast the America's Cup race.