Less Foreign Car Manufacturers Interested In NASCAR
A number of local car manufacturers that have been involved in NASCAR for a long time are now looking to downsize their racing ventures because of financial woes. One might think that this would see more variety hit the race track, but instead it seems it may be the start of hard times ahead for NASCAR.
Apparently representatives from several overseas car manufacturing companies have said that they are not interested in getting involved in NASCAR races, such as the Daytona 500, in the near future. Volkswagen, for instance seemed more concerned about environmental concerns than getting involved with big NASCAR races. They commented that they were not at all interested in investing their money in gasoline-powered racing at this point in time, but also noted that if NASCAR allowed turbos and diesels to race in their series they might start to consider it. With the company set to open a new manufacturing plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, it would seem that getting involved in big local motor sports is the next logical step. But instead the company seems dead-set against it, citing the fact that it is not as financially viable as other forms of racing. Motosports manager for VW America Clark Campbell noted that their entire involvement in the Jetta TDI Cup amounts to only about “two weeks worth of budget for a NASCAR team.” Hence, their efforts will continue to focus on the Jetta TDI Cup series while they work hard at tripling their current share in the U.S. car market during the next ten years.
Honda, on the other hand, is currently the only >car manufacturer involved in the IndyCar Series. But that might soon change. Despite the fact that the company has enjoyed a steady rate of sales in the U.S., they do not share the same sentiments as NASCAR when it comes to developing racecar technology. Honda wants to use what they learn on the track in the cars they put on display in the show room, but NASCAR wants to keep all the cars on a level playing field by restricting technology. Hence Honda is not particularly impressed with the NASCAR racing situation at present.
Meanwhile Nissan seems to be harping on their racing heritage, saying that they have always been involved in championship road racing and so it seems that they will stick to that form of racing in the years to come. Of course there are many other car manufacturers that also need to decide whether or not to get involved in NASCAR racing, but if the trend continues, fans could be at a loss for good racing in the near future.