Monday, December 7, 2009

Japan says Sayonara to Motorsports

As Y’all know, most likely from your Primary Schooling, today is “A Day of Infamy.” As countless reports tell us how the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour at 7:55AM Sunday morning, some 68 years ago…

Recently I received some flak for calling BMW AG’s decision to hastily withdraw from Formula 1 a Knee-jerk reaction, in lieu of our current economic climate… To which was some light weight 40mm AA Flak and I managed to avoid the ensuing shrapnel, but I digress…

As we’ve already learned, we’ve now had a total of three Auto manufacturers pull out of Formula 1 in the past twelve months, while Renault’s future is somewhat cloudy.

And as we all know, it was Honda who set the dominoes falling, as they simply couldn’t stomach being such a back marker anymore, while BMW suddenly decided to Quit after having one bad season, before Toyota decided it was also time to “Punt” as the red ink steadily flowed from Toyota’s books…

Having indeed decided to withdraw from Formula 1, they’ve (Toyota) just laid off a massive 500 employees from the Team’s Cologne HQ, leaving a staff of 150 for other various projects; perhaps an Hybrid “Sin-ergy” attack upon Du Circuit de la Sarthe?

Not to mention Japanese Rubber Giant Bridgestone withdrawing from Formula 1 at the end of the 2010 season, while Japanese Auto manufactures Mitsubishi, Subaru and Suzuki all walked away from the World of Rallying at the beginning of this year.

Yet my claim to BMW’s Knee-jerk reaction was made over the fact that BMW AG’s Board of Directors saw the perfect opportunity to cut costs on a suddenly losing proposition, since they’re still heavily advertising on Television, sponsoring Non-racing Sporting events and planning to compete in GT & WTCC Championships next year, along with the continuation of their Formula BMW Series…

While all of the above Japanese manufacturers with the exception of Mitsubishi also decided to “Save Face” by cancelling their poorly performing Motorsports activities under the guise of financial difficulties…

As let’s examine the following: Honda didn’t have a sponsor for two dreadful seasons under their “Planet earth” scheme, as they had a grand total of one victory during their third “Official” foray into Formula One. (BAR-Honda 2000-05; Honda F1 2006-08) Even being outperformed by the supposed “B” Team of “Super Best Friends,” (Super Aguri) not to mention their two race Ban for running illegal fuel tanks at the San Marino GP in 2005.

Meanwhile Toyota, who’s NEVER won a Grand Prix during its eight seasons in F1, was reputedly spending $500+ million per season, and having suffered the first ever Operating loss in the Companies 71yr history, upon reporting a $2.5 Billion loss in the winter of 2008, followed up by more losses, it decided the potential $150 million fine from failing to show-up for the 2010 Formula One season was far less expensive; (even including the 500 employees severance packages…) i.e.; ten times less then the projected budget to fulfill its Concorde obligations thru 2012. Yet notice how they’re still in RASSCAR, eh? ) Where they continue winning… As recall how Toyota bolted from the Indy Racing League after getting their ARSES kicked by rival Japanese auto manufacturer Honda)

And both Subaru and (especially) Suzuki have been getting their ARSES kicked in the World Rally Championship (WRC) by Sebastian Loeb in his Citroen for the past six seasons, while I’m guessing “Mr. Bitchy” (Mitsubishi) simply decided it was better to walk away from the DAKAR after multiple wins and facing increased pressure from Volkswagen, a la Audi who quit racing in the American Le Mans Series as there simply wasn’t any competition for them to compete against.

So, while yes, the Economy is at its WORST since the Great Depression, possibly worse since it’s a Global dilemma, I still suggest that these manufacturers simply walked away from the table in order to Save Face while trying to improve their bottom line, as after all, one of the first things cut during a Recession is Entertainment, which ultimately Motorsports is…

Another Racing Team Bites the Dust


  1. Really? I would have called this hare kare, but I'm just Randal.

  2. Whale I thought about it... But ironically today Subaru announced its return to Rallying, albeit the Intercontinental Rally Championship... So perhaps there's still some hope of another revival, eh?

  3. I think that its too early for Japan to leave the motor sports at such an early stage when it had full potential to succeed in it. Well decision once taken is very difficult to be reverted back.