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Very Sad,

and very disappointing. I wish there was some way we could have changed the corporate mind.

2002 may just be the pinnacle of Rally in the USA, let us hope not.

Good Luck to the entire Libra team, we hope to see you in the woods flying a new flag soon.

Mike
 

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As do we all...

"However, with the costs of competition escalating dramatically in the past few years, and faced with an uncertain U.S. economy in 2003, the company faced a hard choice."

I'm sure it will come as a shock to those in favor of "professionalizing" ProRally that a series that costs seven figures to run seems preposterous even to deep pocketed car manufacturers.

Wake-up call number 587... time to stop hitting the snooze button! x(
 

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RE: As do we all...

I am sure that seven figure budget is a drop in the bucket. In my opinion, the problem stems from the marketing department at Hyundai not using the rally program to it's full extent in advertising, etc. So possibly when the CEO looked at the numbers, he did not see any return on the investment. Also, unlike Subaru and Mitsubishi, the Tiburon does not lend itself as well to getting people to buy it because it is like a rally car, I.E. not 4wd.
 

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RE: Where are the Hyundais?

I'm surprised Hyundai has remained in ProRally as long as it did. How many rally fans do you know that drive a Tiburon? Or any Hyundai for that matter? They obviously were not making much return for the amount of money spent on the sport.
 

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RE: As do we all...

>The problem stems from
>the marketing department at Hyundai not using the rally
>program to it's full extent in advertising, etc. So when the
>CEO looks at the numbers, he did not see any return on the
>investment.

Exactly... This is just what I said when I heard the news. Sure, you can pour tons of money into a race team, but if no-one knows about it, what's the point? You have to create awareness. Even if they just used a quick shot of the rally car in their Tiburon TV ads, it would have added an element of "coolness"...even if it was just a shot of the car sitting still!
 

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RE: As do we all...

I corrected my original post, when I reread it, I noticed it sounded as if what I said was official word, but it was not, it is only my opinion. And as far as I know, Hyundai does not have plans to do Import Drag racing, I concluded that due to the promotions at the SEMA Show that may be the direction they are heading
 

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RE: As do we all...

Although I will miss seeing the Hyundai's run, I also am surprised that they stayed in the series this long. I see no benefit to the Hyundai here in the US from the rallying program. I'm not even sure the WRC effort got any R&D benefit from what was happening here.

I hope that all on the team come back with another manufacturer! :)

Cheers! John
 

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RE: As do we all...

>Although I will miss seeing the Hyundai's run, I also am
>surprised that they stayed in the series this long. I see
>no benefit to the Hyundai here in the US from the rallying
>program. I'm not even sure the WRC effort got any R&D
>benefit from what was happening here.
>
>I hope that all on the team come back with another
>manufacturer! :)
>
>Cheers! John

I think JB still has an Audi S2 that may have ran an event or two... He still had last time I asked about it a couple of years ago. Or maybe new Mitsu team will run from East coast instead of West...
 

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RE: As do we all...

I have four friends that drive Tibirons, they are all female, aged 21-25 and have never heard of rallying. They have a good reliable sporty car with a low down payment, easy monthly payments and a good warranty.

As grateful as I am to Hyundai for being involved in the sport I follow with a passion, from a marketing point of view they would have been better targeting a womens golf tournament or college softball series. They clearly, have not gained anything from an involvement in rallying or attempting to attract the Gasheads.

If the CEO reads this forum, I am available as a consultant at half the price you spent on the 2002 SCCA Pro Rally.

Don (got to get my foot in the door) Roberts
 

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As reported on www.wrc.com, even the Hyundai WRC effort is experiencing some cost-cutting measures--like reducing the rally staff by 50 people and cutting back to a two car team.

On the bright side, there is rumor about Renault getting into the WRC.
 

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>Anybody have any idea where/what J.B., or paul choinere and
>company be doing next year??

I understand that neither Buffum or Choinere knew anything about Hyundai dropping out. They found out when my crew chief, Rob, faxed him a copy of the article. As Rob said "lousy way to find out". As of now they have no plans for 2003 and may sit out the season.

Gary
#893 GTX
 
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