Is there a Dodge in NASCARís Future? -- by Ira Ostenheimer 
Wednesday, May 6, 2009, 11:04 AM
Posted by Administrator
There have been times in the past when automobile manufacturers have moved in and out of NASCAR competition based upon either costs or rule changes but never has there been a time when a brand stepped out of line due to bankruptcy. Such is the dilemma facing Dodgeís parent company, Daimler-Chrysler, who recently filed for protection under Chapter 11.

The timing couldnít be worse for Kurt Busch who presently occupies the number one position in the Sprint Cup Series driver standings, his Penske team, Gillett/Evernham and Richard Petty Motorsports. Everyone has been told by Dodge that itís business as usual but youíve got to think that in the back of their minds thereís a lot of doubt about what the future holds. What about engine and aero development? What about sponsorships? What aboutÖ? The list goes on. The situation isnít much better on the GM side either, with plant closings and workers being laid off. How will that affect their participation in NASCAR?

Thereís no point in re-hashing the reasons why things are the way they are because thatís already been done. What is important is how the proposed merger with Fiat will affect Dodgeís involvement in motorsports. Will there be a desire on behalf of the Italian automaker to continue fronting the cash necessary in light of the economic crisis or will a decision be made to pull the plug? That would trim the field to Ford, Chevy and Toyota. If GM decides to do the same, weíre looking at Ford and Toyota.

The fans look at this situation from a very different standpoint than the manufacturers: brand loyalties and variety vis-ŗ-vis profit from sales. Itís always been this way and up until now they have been able to live next door to one another when times were good. Today thatís not the case because the bottom line was always in possession of the trump card. Letís hope it doesnít get thrown down.

513 comments ( 5732 views )   |  permalink   |  print article   |   ( 2.9 / 1312 )

<<First <Back | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | Next> Last>>