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http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idINN1530555620080715?rpc=44

General Motors Corp.will reduce spending on motorsports sponsorships as it cuts costs in an attempt to survive a sharp decline in industry sales, a top executive for the U.S. automaker said on Tuesday.

"There are some elements of motorsports that are very effective means of promotion and communication with certain customer segments. The ones that are less are the ones that will be ... scaled back," GM North America President Troy Clarke said at a news conference.

"It will be gradual, by and large, because we have contractual relationships or support relationships that we'll begin to wind down where that is appropriate," he added.

GM said Tuesday it will cut overall costs by $10 billion, suspend its stock dividend and sell up to $4 billion in assets. The restructuring was forced by high gas prices, the shift away from trucks and SUVs, the weakest U.S. auto sales in a decade and growing investor doubts about the Detroit automaker's ability to weather the downturn.

While Clarke declined to provide details about the planned cuts, GM spends millions of dollars annually with the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR), the National Hot Rod Association, the American Le Mans Series and other groups.

NASCAR is most at risk because GM spends so heavily on the stock car racing organization's three leagues, involving cars and pickup trucks, analysts said.

GM spends about $120 million to $140 million a year on NASCAR, including sponsorships and promotions, advertising, and payments to teams and drivers, according to Peter DeLorenzo, publisher of website Autoextremist.com.

"The promotional aspect of their involvement with NASCAR is going to be the thing that comes under severe scrutiny," he said. "There are certain people, especially within GM, who have been licking their chops to get at the NASCAR budget."

After track sponsorships and promotions, U.S. automakers likely will move to trim national advertising related to NASCAR before finally possibly cutting back on spending for the teams and NASCAR's three leagues, DeLorenzo said.

NASCAR officials have watched the struggles of GM and the other U.S. automakers closely, but said their sport offers sponsors a great way to reach its more than 75 million fans.

"Attendance has held up well even amid the rising costs of traveling to races," spokesman Andrew Giangola said. "(TV) ratings have increased this season. NASCAR continues to have the most Fortune 500 involvement of any sport."

GM's Clarke said the automaker spends a large amount on motorsports, but "any good manager can go in and get 10 or 12 percent of something" in spending cuts.
 

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I wouldn't look at NASCAR cuts.

But more of SCCA and Drifting cuts. lulz Drifting
 

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I wouldn't look at NASCAR cuts.

But more of SCCA and Drifting cuts. lulz Drifting
Not much money to be saved in SCCA and drifting. More likely in NHRA, Offroad, and IMSA...then the dreaded ALMS Corvette Racing team which should survive, because it has world wide impact.

Lot's of fat in NASCAR with the truck series, etc.
 

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NASCAR should have been significantly decreased a LONG time ago. There is no reason for GM to keep spending this much on those teams especially since NASCAR is moving to the "Car of Tomorrow" eliminating all differences between the cars on the tracks.
 

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NASCAR should have been significantly decreased a LONG time ago. There is no reason for GM to keep spending this much on those teams especially since NASCAR is moving to the "Car of Tomorrow" eliminating all differences between the cars on the tracks.
I agree 100%. The days of "win on Sunday, sell on Monday" are long gone...along with the Monte Carlo SS.
 

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I wouldn't look at NASCAR cuts.

But more of SCCA and Drifting cuts. lulz Drifting

Millions and millions spent on NASCAR did ZERO for the Chevy Monte Carlo - it died. NASCAR is not cost effective, especially in the current climate.
 

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I dont follow it anymore. It just isnt like it used to be.
Sadly, I agree. I'll watch Daytona and Talledega, some short tracks, but that is it. The 1.5-2.0 mile tracks are boring...the cars just spread out, with 10+ car lengths between all of them for most of the race and drive around in circles.

I'm only speaking for myself, but if Nascar wanted me to watch more races..get rid of some of the events at Michigan, Pocono, Atlanta, California, Vegas, etc...and build more short tracks like Bristol or Drafting superspeedways like Daytona or Talledega.
 

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I wouldn't look at NASCAR cuts.

But more of SCCA and Drifting cuts. lulz Drifting
I see it the opposite, Nascar is bigger, but it costs MUCH more and % does not return investment like the smaller series (go to a race and look at all the Hondas that never have raced nascar). Drifting, Rally, and other smaller divisions have higher customer loyalty than the big name stuff. Open wheel doesn't have the brand recognition to be very succesfull. The road racing (IMSA, ALMS, SCCA, etc) have brand recognition and loyalty, but BMW, Porsche, and even Mazda have the big following there and its going to be a tough nut to crack except for Corvette and thats not what GM needs to move, it needs it main stream vehicles to have recognition. Also some series have something to offer in return for the production cars, I'm betting the Le Mans effort has wonders for Production Corvette performance and durability. Nascar can't say that, unless GM's going back to carberators and 4 speeds, and using Ford 9" axles, not much to be learned.

Think of the recognition GM could achieve if they quit Nascar and spent 1/2 the money at local tracks, they'd be able to blanket the country and the local crowds that go to the small local events are also the ones that become brand loyal due to racing.
 

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Millions and millions spent on NASCAR did ZERO for the Chevy Monte Carlo - it died. NASCAR is not cost effective, especially in the current climate.
I'm sure the fact that the Monte Carlo was hideous had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that it NEVER sold well. A better case study would be with the Impala, which is GM's current car in the NASCAR series and you'd be hard pressed to argue that all of that money has helped the Impala at all.
 

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I'm sure the fact that the Monte Carlo was hideous had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that it NEVER sold well. A better case study would be with the Impala, which is GM's current car in the NASCAR series and you'd be hard pressed to argue that all of that money has helped the Impala at all.
I'm guessing that NASCAR driven brand loyalty has sold a lot more Chevy trucks than Impalas.
 

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I wouldn't look at NASCAR cuts.

But more of SCCA and Drifting cuts. lulz Drifting
Do you think Nascar sold more Monte Carlos in the last ten years than SCCA autocross and SCCA Spec Miata sold Miatas? I don't.

Grassroots is where it's at. Those are the people actually buying cars because of racing. You think Mazda hasn't learned anything useful for its production cars from sponsoring that?
 

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There is something to be said for brand loyalty and why most fans are interested in Chevy products, but the currrent cropr of NASCAR racecars have nothing to do with what any of us buy other than the fact that they have 4 wheels and a steering wheel.
Carburetors? Solid axles? non overdrive transmissions?

This is so ridiculous. COTY has no technology whatsoever.
NASCAR is so concerned with having close races that they are paralyzed to do anything.

I think GM should drop their budget by 75% and put money into Sports cars or even F1 as a long shot.
 

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Cut it all out. Its not like they are gaining any R&D value from motorsports like they did in the old days when they actually used REAL cars and parts that ended up on the showroom floor. Cut it all.
 

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NASCAR does nothing for GM because the cars of tomorrow have NOTHING to do with the actual cars.

When someone wins the Daytona 500, people say "Jimmy Johnson won the Daytona 500". They DONT say "Chevrolet won the Daytona 500".

When asked "Who won the 24 Hours of LeMans?", people say, "Audi won". "Corvette won". The cars are the stars of the LeMans series, not the drivers. The technology transfer is real in the ALMS. BMW, Porsche, Ferrari all got their image thru sports car racing and spent a HELL of a lot less money doing it each year than GM has on NASCAR.

The ALMS Corvette team has done WONDERS for GMs image around the world. When they first showed up at LeMans in 2000, they were ignored by the crowds. After winning their class so many years in a row, they are now a fan favorite. They have the biggest crowds for autograph sessions, and are loved in the parades. They don't just sell more Corvettes, they sell more cars for GM. All on a budget that is a tiny fraction of what is spent on NASCAR.
 

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GM spends millions upon millions advertising with NASCAR and what do they do? Give Toyota a HP advantage on cars that are exactly the same. I say, screw NASCAR. People that are going to watch NASCAR and buy GM are already going to do so, there's no more "win on sunday, sell on monday."

I say, take the NASCAR money and spend some on SCCA and Le Mans.
 

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The ALMS Corvette team has done WONDERS for GMs image around the world. When they first showed up at LeMans in 2000, they were ignored by the crowds. After winning their class so many years in a row, they are now a fan favorite. They have the biggest crowds for autograph sessions, and are loved in the parades. They don't just sell more Corvettes, they sell more cars for GM. All on a budget that is a tiny fraction of what is spent on NASCAR.
Hate to tell you this, but as much as I love watching the C6.R run all over the world, ok, so ALMS & Le Mans, there is a very good chance that this will be cut, with the proposed changes going through for the series GM will either need to run a Corvette in the prototype classes or in a different GT class.

It also doesn't help that for the most part the Corvette's are racing against each other and no one else in many races so that makes it even harder to justify the cost even though they get results (that can viewed as irrelevant if they are the only ones competing)

Here is a link for you:
http://www.autoweek.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080711/FREE/617621078/1036/FREE

From reports I have seen over the past few years, Nascar fans are pretty brand loyal, and like him or not, Dale Jr telling you to buy a Chevy is a pretty good marketing opportunity given the following he has in the sport.

Some of the previous talk re the cuts was also aimed at track sponsorship in the sense they wouldn't provide trucks and other vehicles for safety use etc.
 
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