More stories related to Geneva Motor ShowGENEVA – Chrysler Group says it will not dedicate a significant amount of resources to spur sales of its Jeep Liberty Diesel, which is beginning to arrive at dealers after a delay due to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency certification.

Chrysler was supposed to begin retail deliveries of the Liberty Diesel before the end of 2004. In January, Chrysler Group CEO Dieter Zetsche told Ward’s the Liberty Diesel would begin to arrive in showrooms in time for a full marketing launch in February. (See related data: EPA Stalls Liberty Diesel Launch)

The auto maker now says it may have enough initial customers to fulfill first-year volume projections of 5,000 units. This will result in a shift from the original plan to heavily promote the midsize SUV in the spring.

Chrysler to limit Jeep Liberty Diesel advertising.

Late last year, Jeff Bell, vice president of the Chrysler and Jeep brands, told reporters the auto maker planned to dedicate a fair amount of advertising resources to the Liberty Diesel.

“We get to launch in the January, February and March timeframe, and the diesel will be the single focus for our Jeep advertising in the spring,” he said at the time. (See related data: More Liberty Diesels Headed for U.S.?)

Now, it appears Chrysler will not devote a full campaign to the vehicle, according to Joe Eberhardt, executive vice president, sales and marketing-Chrysler Group.

“Once we have significant quantities, (we will) start with the marketing of the product,” he tells Ward’s at the auto show here.

“The very early indications are that what we have on dealer lots turns extremely fast,” he says. “So you could almost say if we are selling them without advertising, I am really not sure whether we need to do a big marketing push. We will advertise it, but the question is to what degree? We certainly would not put a full launch campaign behind the vehicle.”

Chrysler, instead, plans to rely on reviews of the Liberty Diesel by major media outlets as an alternative way to promote the product. The rest will be left to direct mail and limited mass advertising.

kekelly@primediabusiness.com