Interesting. MOPAR paid to have their rally progpram plugged 5 times today at the Sport Compact Nationals, also paid people to bring out an army of srt-4s and had a faux rally car that had about 15 people standing by it looking at it firing off questions to the MOPAR reps around the display. Flat4engineering had 2 rally cars on dispaly there as well, didn't get to get a vibe for the crowd as when I went over there it was after the wind and rain had been through, although I'd imagine a very large crowd there as well.
Ford can think wahtever it wants to think, fact is that if it wasn't for truck and SUV sales Ford would be loosing money, heck, local dealers here are giving away focuses if you buy an explorer. Ford can't seem to manage its sales, just like Mitsubishi couldn't afford or realize to try to maximize its rally success in the public (if they ran ads showing how they just destroyed Subaru in the championships last year a lot of on the fence buyers would ahve been taking a more serious look at Mitsu). Heck even subaru has cars in its ads touching on its rally programs, rally cars or not, that are going nice and fast on dirt. Those 4 seconds of WRC footage in the ad mitsu ran for like 2 months was just such a smart investment....
With all that said there will not be any manufacturers (other then Dodge and maybe Mazda, but mazda remains to be seen and g5 and g2 just aren't the manufacturer drasw they could be....) until someone runs to draw subie back or some other manufacturer figures out that if they rally, they need to win, and if they win they need to pimp that out to the public and then they will see returns....
Whatever though, I'd be happy with just seeing a couple other manufacturers out there providing partial sponsorship for drivers and helping them get more sponsors and just more contigency money and factory support onsite. Lets build up the driving pool more, and build up more grass roots interest through support and contigency money before we have the the flash in the pan full on factory teams back, maybe then we'll see more American/Canadian drivers thrashing factory rides.
I think Mitsu would have seen better returns this year if they didn't run diggins or laughlin, and partially sponsored one of those guys, maybe leon, and put up a nice contigency package and on site factory support of competitors and spent a million instead of 2. Thats just me being an econ student and freelance writer/photog thinking out loud though.....
Screw a million. Just put out 300K in contingency money for PGT, Open, or GN, whatever class trips their trigger, and rallyists wouldn't be snickering at what a bunch of 'tards the Mitsubishi marketing geniuses are. We'd be praising them for being so supportive while they were having hard times, and they'd have some visual contents for their ads. It'd cost about half what that brunette model cost them to make their econo-Lancer and SUV-thing ads.
As the direct male-line decendants of John Wesley Hardin are known to say on occasion: "You can't help some people with a two-by-four."
Not that I mind seeing the brunette model. She just needs to be wearing a driving suit covered in mud.
Viva la ProleRalliat!
Okay, fine. So the model didn't cost 600k. Picky picky. It sounded good, though, right? Am I right in thinking the ads in question were more-or-less wasted effort?
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