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Old 30 Sep 2010, 13:53 (Ref:2767151)   #1
marcostraz
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Fiat/Ferrari future in Indycar?

In addition to the McLaren (and the Lotus, whose presence in 2012 is already secure), Bernarnd spoke with Ferrari in his last trip to Europe...I think is interesting, especially for the connection between the Fiat group (that owns Ferrari) and Chrysler...it's a long time that Fiat said that he wants to be stronger on USA market...so for them the presence in a major racing category (with the big name of Indy 500, famous around the world) could be useful, with an italian brand (like Alfa Romeo or Maserati) or with Chrysler...the name of Indianapolis 500 is famous all around the world, and partecipating in it could be interesting both for the italian section and american section of Fiat/Chrysler partnership...
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Old 30 Sep 2010, 14:15 (Ref:2767165)   #2
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Doubtful.

Almost no one watches or cares anymore about the 500, so the costs versus the marketing return are not worth it.

Fiat and it's brands have been courted by the irl since 2007 to no avail.

Lotus and it's participation is far from confirmed for 2012 with body kits.
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Old 30 Sep 2010, 14:34 (Ref:2767181)   #3
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Doubtful.

Almost no one watches or cares anymore about the 500, so the costs versus the marketing return are not worth it.

Fiat and it's brands have been courted by the irl since 2007 to no avail.

Lotus and it's participation is far from confirmed for 2012 with body kits.
Hooray for hyperbole! It still gets a 2.5-3.0 rating. Not everybody watches it, but it still gets seen by quite a few people. If Fiat is smart, this is how they relaunch the Chrysler(strictly Chrysler and not Dodge) brand. Lotus is well confirmed with their plans to build a body kit. You think they upped their participation with KV for ****s and giggles?
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Old 30 Sep 2010, 14:55 (Ref:2767197)   #4
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Originally Posted by mountainstar View Post
Doubtful.

Almost no one watches or cares anymore about the 500, so the costs versus the marketing return are not worth it.

Fiat and it's brands have been courted by the irl since 2007 to no avail.

Lotus and it's participation is far from confirmed for 2012 with body kits.
Do you even like IndyCar racing? Why do you spend time on this board? Just so you can negative? I don't get it.
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Old 30 Sep 2010, 15:54 (Ref:2767243)   #5
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Do you even like IndyCar racing? Why do you spend time on this board? Just so you can negative? I don't get it.
He's a crappie.
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Old 30 Sep 2010, 16:38 (Ref:2767277)   #6
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Hooray for hyperbole! It still gets a 2.5-3.0 rating. Not everybody watches it, but it still gets seen by quite a few people. If Fiat is smart, this is how they relaunch the Chrysler(strictly Chrysler and not Dodge) brand. Lotus is well confirmed with their plans to build a body kit. You think they upped their participation with KV for ****s and giggles?
Well, yes some people may see the 500. But it is clear from ratings from the other races, pretty much no one watches. Channels with static or off the air register higher ratings than some indycar races.

But what is important to marketing people is your cost versus your return on that investment. For what they spend to "activate" an indycar engine program, run it, market it and pay for all the other miscellaneous costs, for maybe a bit more, they could do Nascar and get 100 times the exposure year round. And hey they already do.

If you think I am full of it about indycar providing a lame and near worthless "expenditure versus benefit" or "return on investment", talk to any sponsorship manager, of the few that are left at teams, or a team owner and see what they say off the record. The "rate card" they can get versus costs of running a team isn't there. Sponsors are offering six figure sums for something that went for millions years before.

The KV participation this year involved Lotus sending 3 engineers to races and some dealing to try to get Lotus to buy Cosworth technology. AFAIK no significant sums of cash changed hands and AFAIK that is not going to change for next year. If you thought the Lotus deal was some massive multi million $$$ sponsorship

I'll believe Lotus's body kit when I see it.
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Old 30 Sep 2010, 17:44 (Ref:2767320)   #7
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Do you even like IndyCar racing? Why do you spend time on this board? Just so you can negative? I don't get it.
I love American open wheel formula racing but I do not support the perverted visions of tony george and his cronies, no.

Mostly I like 10-10ths because like me, I like a variety of motorsports, not just one segment of the sport.

The issues I point out are real and factual imparted with my own opinions. If people wish to debate or discuss or issue a rebuttal to my opinions, awesome, that is what a discussion forum is for.
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Old 30 Sep 2010, 18:07 (Ref:2767332)   #8
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Well, yes some people may see the 500. But it is clear from ratings from the other races, pretty much no one watches. Channels with static or off the air register higher ratings than some indycar races.
It's not only a question of tv ratings...outside USA, if you talk about Daytona 500 or Charlotte 600, virtually no one knows these races, except motorsport fans...if you talk about Indy 500, many people know at least we're talking about a car race...and froma a point of view of marketing, for major automobile industry it's clearly more important the great mass of people...
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Old 30 Sep 2010, 21:16 (Ref:2767446)   #9
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It's not only a question of tv ratings...outside USA, if you talk about Daytona 500 or Charlotte 600, virtually no one knows these races, except motorsport fans...if you talk about Indy 500, many people know at least we're talking about a car race...and froma a point of view of marketing, for major automobile industry it's clearly more important the great mass of people...
Maybe but how many overseas actually watch the 500? And how many of those people care? And what does that do for car sales in the USA?

If your hypothesis was true indycar would have 4-6 manufacturers battling every year to win the 500. If it is such great value and reaches so many people they would already be there.

The fact is the indycar people since 2007 have been pestering every car manufacturer out there only to get rejected because the cost of doing business versus ROI doesn't add up.

Honda is there because they have squeezed every concession out of indycar and it's teams they can and use the races they sponsor as company picnics and as hospitality B2B dealing. How much longer Honda will be around? I do know the black marker pen has hovered above indycar expenditures in the budget before

The issue comes down to funding and with all the manufacturers, because indycar is based in the USA and pretty much races only in the USA, the funding has to come from the American distributor and their budgets for the most part. So FIAT north america would have to barf up $30 million or whatever to go indycar racing and I would say with the condition of Chrysler right now, that aint happening. They got bigger fish to fry.

People have to get it that is just isn't the cost but what you actually get in return for that investment. Indycar right now is asking for Ferrari prices but people are only willing to pay Kia prices because that is what the value is.

The proof is in the pudding they say and if indycar was this great value of a marketing exercise, the teams would be signing multi million $$$ sponsors left and right like the good ole days and manufacturers would be spending tons of money like before. It's not happening and instead right now it's crickets.
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Old 30 Sep 2010, 21:27 (Ref:2767453)   #10
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Well, yes some people may see the 500. But it is clear from ratings from the other races, pretty much no one watches. Channels with static or off the air register higher ratings than some indycar races.

But what is important to marketing people is your cost versus your return on that investment. For what they spend to "activate" an indycar engine program, run it, market it and pay for all the other miscellaneous costs, for maybe a bit more, they could do Nascar and get 100 times the exposure year round. And hey they already do.


If you think I am full of it about indycar providing a lame and near worthless "expenditure versus benefit" or "return on investment", talk to any sponsorship manager, of the few that are left at teams, or a team owner and see what they say off the record. The "rate card" they can get versus costs of running a team isn't there. Sponsors are offering six figure sums for something that went for millions years before.

The KV participation this year involved Lotus sending 3 engineers to races and some dealing to try to get Lotus to buy Cosworth technology. AFAIK no significant sums of cash changed hands and AFAIK that is not going to change for next year. If you thought the Lotus deal was some massive multi million $$$ sponsorship

I'll believe Lotus's body kit when I see it.
So just like me, you don't have any clue. The FACT is that Proton/Lotus is willing to invest in motorsport around the world to build their brand image. That plan includes IndyCar and has from jump. They've already bought into ART GP, and they already have plans for LeMans, and GT4. I don't KNOW, but there isn't a single reason to be skeptical. Unless you get off by any bad news relating to IndyCar.
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Old 30 Sep 2010, 22:14 (Ref:2767484)   #11
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So just like me, you don't have any clue. The FACT is that Proton/Lotus is willing to invest in motorsport around the world to build their brand image. That plan includes IndyCar and has from jump. They've already bought into ART GP, and they already have plans for LeMans, and GT4. I don't KNOW, but there isn't a single reason to be skeptical. Unless you get off by any bad news relating to IndyCar.
From what jump? I don't call some engineering support a massive sponsorship. KK is deal maker and knows how to B2B no doubt, but lets call it for what it is.

Of course Lotus should invest in motorsport. I think it's almost a necessity. But for a company like Lotus where do you think the money is for them? Selling GT4 and GT3 cars and other sportscars or spending millions on an indycar program? How many cars did Lotus sell last year in the USA? About 700 cars. If an indycar sponsorship for a car went for full rack rate of lets say $4 million dollars, that is a cost of $5700 a car.

Examine how Porsche does business. Their racing programs make money. They float some pro drivers and tech support out there and some marketing and PR help when need be. But they sell tons of cars and especially parts and they get visibility in most of the important markets out there.
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Old 1 Oct 2010, 00:03 (Ref:2767540)   #12
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I believe that if Ferrari entered the Indy 500, ratings in most countries would jump above the Monaco GP (for the first race). It won't happen, of course, but (I rarely use this phrase) that's a fact.

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If Fiat is smart, this is how they relaunch the Chrysler(strictly Chrysler and not Dodge) brand.
I disagree. Dodge is the sporty brand.
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Old 1 Oct 2010, 01:10 (Ref:2767556)   #13
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Well, at least I won't be the one accused of hijacking the thread.

Seems like 3.6 was the ratings number for Indy this year.

Lotus announced their intention of fielding two cars before the season began, one car was funded all season and there was also a Cosworth brand association on display with KV racing.

Now they have publicly confirmed a second car for next year. I don't care whose money that is, KKs or Proton's or Fernandez'. The fact is there is one car that is funded, and every verified expectation that there will be another.

Mountainstar reads crapwagon and motorsports forum posts, and puts the rumors here without accrediting them. Here's a case in point:

There is a guy called "EagleEye" who represents himself as a current member of an IndyCar team. That might well be the case, but one thing we have witnessed for sure is that Series operations and team operations are quite independent of one another.

So "EagleEye" posts that Izod freaked out after the ratings came in for the Indy 500. Like that's real insider dish, so Star reads it and posts it here.

Only problem is, that's exactly the opposite of what the CEO of Izod said in his own words less than three weeks ago. He verified that Izod's spend this year was an INCREASE of $10M, and that they were very satisfied with the demonstrated return on their investment.

So any speculation about how much Izod really invested, or whether they were having buyer's remorse, is a wagon of crap being pushed by people who don't know the facts.

Why does that matter? If you're selling sponsorship, on a Series or team level, you can point to the CEO of Izod as a sponsor who attributed double digit order increases to his company's participation in the IndyCar Series.

In the past year, Honda has added three races to their list of title sponsored events, extended their contract with IndyCar, and committed to funding a complete new engine program. But they are not satisfied with their ROI either?

I'm no gomer, and asking hard questions is the only way to figure out what's going on. When the answers come directly from the people spending the money, that's who I believe. Not rumor mongers or recyclers who claim to have inside information.

Back to the thread topic of engine suppliers, Cosworth doesn't have the backing to participate: they have publicly said so. Every auto manufacturer does, but none have bought in other than Honda. Fiat/ Chrysler would seem unlikely, as their reorganization efforts are massive.

Fact is, we're not talking about a lot of money here. When Nissan states that their U.S. marketing budget was over $600M in a down year, things come into perspective a little. Other major manufacturers must be spending similar amounts.

As close as I have been able to estimate from talking to insiders, $10M would be enough to badge and develop an existing racing engine for IndyCar. Pick a number for a complete new program, I'll use $20M as an educated guess on the high end. Does that look like a huge number to Nissan, or any other manufacturer?

Well, the $10M investment was worth the ticket for Izod, and a larger one is satisfying the requirements of Honda. That certainly doesn't mean another manufacturer will invest in IndyCar, but there is a case to base the sales pitch on.

You can't base one on rumors. So Star, I'll continue to dismiss whatever you are trying to sell, regardless of where you are getting your rumors from.
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Old 1 Oct 2010, 01:49 (Ref:2767561)   #14
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You can't base one on rumors. So Star, I'll continue to dismiss whatever you are trying to sell, regardless of where you are getting your rumors from.
Oh I'm not trying to sell anything, don't know where you deduced that from.

The Lotus info comes right from those who know. The info is not hard to find out.

But as I pointed out, if in fact Lotus did fund one car enough to be competitive, it would cost Lotus USA approx. $5700 per street car sold. In my independent opinion, I really don't see that happening.

And no I don't read any other forums except for one, so whoever eagle eye is, haven't a clue and who he is in person, I really don't care.

Again if it was such a bargain, manufacturers would clamor all over themselves, but they are not are they? People for years now have been generating all these rumors of Audi and Fiat and Porsche and Nissan, etc. etc.

Well where are they?

If an indycar program is such a drop in the bucket for Nissan, why aren't they there? Why did they give up the Infiniti program?

Why is it crickets right now when teams should be making big announcements for next year about who their paid drivers are off the backs of all these mysterious big sponsors?

Proof is in the pudding and I don't see any movement at all. Crowds were down this year, tv ratings almost non existent, don't see any big sponsor announcements, don't see any new manufacturers signing up for big commitments.

I think you need to vent your anger at someone else, because there is a lot of talk and fluff but where is the goods?
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Old 1 Oct 2010, 01:58 (Ref:2767564)   #15
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I believe that if Ferrari entered the Indy 500, ratings in most countries would jump above the Monaco GP (for the first race). It won't happen, of course, but (I rarely use this phrase) that's a fact.


I disagree. Dodge is the sporty brand.
It's not necessarily about sporty-ness. It's about their premium brand not being received as premium at all. Of course, Cadillac technically did the same through sportscars, but IndyCar is supposed to be cheaper.
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