Global Economic Crisis Killing Motor Sport
Recently the "Global Economic Melt Down", "financial crisis", or whatever you want to call it, has been taking its toll on the motor industry. While some automakers are attempting to seek government support to stay alive, all automakers are scrambling to find ways to cut costs and save money.
Unfortunately for fans of motor sport, this means less money is being directed towards motor racing. Honda's decision to withdraw from F1 set the scene. Up until then, much of the focus was on GM, Ford, and Chrysler. Honda's reason was simple: money.
Subaru Withdraws from WRC
Now, in the last few days the World Rally Championship (WRC) has lost Suzuki, and Subaru. Yes, Subaru! This is a massive blow to the WRC. If you ask modern-day rally fans to name the first car that comes to mind when they think of rallying it is more than likely they will name the Subaru Impreza.
The late Collin McRea drove the Impreza to three consecutive manufacturer's titles between 1996 and 1998.
The decision to remove from WRC will likely have an effect on Impreza sales too, where some purchases are made on perceptions built up through Subaru's performance in the Championship.
But is this only the beginning? As manufacturers seek ways to cut costs, the obvious loser is motor racing. Audi recently withdrew from US motor racing events to focus on the European events. Again, the reason was the same, cutting costs due to the slowdown in the industry.
Motor racing is not just a way to have some fun though. Manufacturers use it as a means to test technology that can eventually make it into production cars.
So, who'll be next?