A public reply to NASCAR Scott re: automakers’ future

NASCAR Scott rightly points out than in an earlier post I didn’t mention the possibilities of the car companies pulling out of motorsports, prospect he calls “a hard sword to fall on.”

I couldn’t agree more.

As I write, GM stocks have reached their lowest value in more than 75 years; the news about Ford and Chrysler isn’t much better; we have to face the possibility that, rather than pulling out as we saw in the nineteen-sixties, the companies themselves would disappear, at least as we know them.  Or, perhaps, one automaker was left standing with enough working capital for a racing program of some kind; if that happens, folks, we’re in for single-nameplate racing, and it’s hard to imagine the Frances turning down a lifeline at such a moment.

And maybe we’d be lucky to have that.  If we lose all three auto manufacturers, God forbid, auto racing’s contraction will be unique to history.  There’s no template for it.  I imagine that version of the future would turn existing teams into “skunkworks” a la Lotus in its beginning.  Imagine that if you dare. 

Personally, I think auto racing’s a metaphorical canary in the coal mine; if it dies, that should tell you something about your prospects.  Right now, the canary’s not at all well, and doesn’t appear to be getting any better.  Me, I’m as worried as you are.  As Scott says, it will be “a hard sword to fall on.”


About johnwylam1957

I'm a poet and teacher now living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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