don't worry, McNeil won't be able to ruin subaru, he's going to be safely shuttled off to an auto parts supply company.
Mitsu's corporate probs are what happens when the product designers, powertrain engineers, marketing guys, finance department, dealer/sales force and the management bigwigs don't talk to each other until it's too late, if at all.
How a company can put out a totally dialed-in car like the Evo, and still produce total appliance crapola fleet rental cars and indifferent family sedans and hellfire offroad SUVs and not be able to sell much of anything is beyond me.
Mitsu has missed the boat,big time. Hope the Evos and Pajeros survive the inevitable corporate bloodletting....
Unfortunately, while the moves may have been necessary, they accelerated Mitsubishi's slide. U.S. sales fell 37% in 2004, to 161,000 cars and trucks, the worst performance of a major auto maker. And on Jan. 3, O'Neill, 52, abruptly quit and took the helm of Reynolds & Reynolds Co. (REY ), which provides software and services to car dealers.
Heh! Now that he is at Reynolds & Reynolds, you won't be able to buy performance oriented parts at ANY dealership! }(
Having gotten the real story from someone who was actually in the boardroom when rally was axed, all I can say GOOD RIDDANCE! Finn's lack of vision is appalling, and hopefully a new leader can restore some respect to Mitsu. Reinstating the rally program, and kicking ass again, would be a good start.
>Better get to work on the car, Dennis....there's HOPE!
>Official Old Fart, etc.
Screw that, I raced on "hope" for the last two years, and just got burned. Despite a number of drivers (including myself) bringin' it at every rally, with exciting driving and fast cars, the SCCA still failed to bring any kind of exposure or recognition to the sport. We did our part, they failed on theirs.
I love my Lancer, but if Mitsu corporate expects me to keep showing off their product, they are going to have to PROVE that they willing to back rally (like Subaru). They can do this by giving me a car and lotsa money to run it (sha right), or by posting a real contingency program with high payouts and start/tow money. Not likely to happen you say? Fine, then instead of pictures of Evos ripping through the forest gracing Sport Compact Car and Speed Channel where rally crazed kids with too much money and not enough brains can become desperately hooked on Mitsu, we'll take our cars to the backwoods club rallies where we run for fun against our buddies while Mitsu tries to figure out why it can't sell cars.
>I love my Lancer, but if Mitsu corporate expects me to keep
>showing off their product, they are going to have to PROVE
>that they willing to back rally (like Subaru). They can do
>this by giving me a car and lotsa money to run it (sha right),
>or by posting a real contingency program with high payouts and
>start/tow money. Not likely to happen you say? Fine, then
>instead of pictures of Evos ripping through the forest gracing
>Sport Compact Car and Speed Channel where rally crazed kids
>with too much money and not enough brains can become
>desperately hooked on Mitsu, we'll take our cars to the
>backwoods club rallies where we run for fun against our
>buddies while Mitsu tries to figure out why it can't sell
It's refreshing to hear the manifesto of the people repeated. It's about substance. We ain't nobodies beeyotch and we want the rally meat and potatoes. That's the premise of Group F afterall, and Dennis is ripe to become a Group F rally guy. He just doesn't know it yet.
>It's refreshing to hear the manifesto of the people repeated.
>It's about substance. We ain't nobodies beeyotch and we want
>the rally meat and potatoes. That's the premise of Group F
>afterall, and Dennis is ripe to become a Group F rally guy.
>He just doesn't know it yet.
No, I think you missed my point Jake. The first line of my message was "I love my Lancer." GrF is great, but I'm not interested at the moment. My point was that there is absolutely no incentive for guys like myself, ACP, Leon, or even Seamus Burke to run a full RA season. If we win, we get nothing except a trophy and some good memories. Well, I"ve got plenty of trophies and I can get good memories at events like Headwaters. Mitsu has been freeloading off of the rally community for years. We show up and run, pictures get taken, we are on TV, etc... Well, if they aren't careful, that's gonna stop as guys get fed up and start running regional stuff, or switch to Subarus.
BTW, I don't mean to sound ungrateful the contingency I've recieved in the past, but reality is that it just wasn't enough. I could have run regionals and saved more than I won.
Most of us rally for the love of it, iregardless if and what manufactures are involved. I agree it is nice to have some corp involvement and see some $$ trickle down to the competitors to allow them to do more of what they are already doing, but we should not excpect any favors for using their product for our own enjoyment.
Well, the Open class money from Subaru is about the same as the Open class money from Mitsubishi. Both cars are plentiful and (for the performance) inexpensive. The money from the two companies is no greater at NASA or CARS than it is at RA.
None of us expects to make a living rallying. We do it because it is fun. Those with bigger pocket books have more fun. The sport would miss you, Dennis, if you should leave, but driving a Mitsu isn't putting you at a financial disadvantage. Driving open class is. There's $14,100 in Subaru money up for grabs at Sno*Drift, almost all of it in GpN.
You have clearly stated that you did things with a clear expectation that, for some reason, the exsisting order would change and, for some reason somebody would reward you for spending lots of money and buying an Evo and joining the long procession of other virtually indentical cars with yet another Evo or WRX.
You're bitter, and it shows.
But you fail; to get the point that the variable in the equation is YOUR perception.
I say you were sold a bill of goods by some people for their own reasons and you bought it hook line and sinker.
Don't blame Mistubishi, they did what they've done for the last xx years.
Try and remember who told you it was smart to spend what you did WITH THE EXPECTATION of real money and try blaming them.
But it was your decision, and you fail to ever even consider thinking about that.
Mitsubishi, Subaru, Hyundai all support what they think is exciting enough to warrant support.
>Screw that, I raced on "hope" for the last two years, and just
>got burned. Despite a number of drivers (including myself)
>bringin' it at every rally, with exciting driving and fast
>cars, the SCCA still failed to bring any kind of exposure or
>recognition to the sport. We did our part, they failed on
Dennis, I can certainly understand your hopes and ambitions. However, with no offense intended, were you honestly ever running at the top of the field at a national rally when the factory drivers were running (i.e. 2001 - 2003), running in the top 5 and winning stages? If you were battling with these guys head-to-head and showing your competitiveness with David and Mark Higgins, Mark Lovell, Pasi Hagstrom, Ramana, Lauchlin, etc., then I can certainly understand your frustration.
One thing to keep in mind is how do you plan to get noticed by manufacturers if you're not competing against the top drivers to prove your abilities. Unfortunately, 2004 simply wasn't a season that proved anything...especially to a manufacturer, since there was not really a top open class driver competing that they could consider a benchmark. Not trying to be a kiljoy, but let's all be relastic.
At this point, if you want to prove/improve your competitiveness, you're much better off competing in the BRC or another series in Europe. Competing in US won't do anything to help...
However, the issue of contingency is a separate topic. Mitsu's support and loyalty towards competitors using their products has always been disappointing. Business-wise, Mitsu has some serious financial and strategic hurdles to overcome...I'm really surprised they're even continuing in the WRC this year.
Uhhgg..... Ok, count to ten...... Sorry, it's been a frustrating week, it's only Thursday, and to top it off I'm sick. But anyways...
I don't think I'm getting my point across. My point was that the manufacturers (Mitsu especially), SCCA, and now perhaps RA have fumbled the entire deal. The big buck corporate 2 car team turned out to be a loser as it didn't improve overall event quality, overall promotion, or overall competition. I think I came out in support of those teams a few years back, and I WAS WRONG (that's for you JVL, savor it). But, and this is important, I still contend that many of the other "improvements" were or are necessary. This includes TV, ID packages, TAG timing, etc.... We now have the infrastructure to really make this series go. The problem is we can't field consistant high quality entry lists. If RA and the manufacturers were smart, they would take the money they are pitching towards works teams and other crap and give real contingency money.
Mitsu spent around $3mil to run two cars and all the advertising. What if instead of the works team they took just a $500k and devoted it to contingency? First place gets $50k, second $25k, third $15k, and fourth $10k. Then take the remaining $400k and split between event contingency and start/tow money. Assume 10 events, or $40k and event. $20k goes to prize money, $20k to start money (10 teams for example, that's $2k per team). Think about it. How many guys would be running mitsus a if program like that was in place? How many guys would be driving to the limit with a $50k payout at the end? How many guys would show up at each and every race with consistent start money? You wanna spur competition, put a little money out there and you'll get it. In the mean time RA will get one hell of show, Subaru will have a real fight on it's hands, and everyone will be talking about the nuts trying to win the "Mitsu Money" (hmm, consider that trademarked). Oh, and mitsu would still have $2.5 mil left over to promote the whole thing, or maybe pay Finn's severance.
And finally a few things on a personal note:
I'm not bitter, I'm disappointed. It's like watching the Packers keep losing in the playoffs because the coaches are too stupid to draft a defense. How many times will rally be fumbled before we lose the ball?
I didn't buy my Lancer because I thought it was a ticket to fame, stardom, and free money. I bought it because it helps me achieve a personal goal of getting down gravel/snow roads as fast as I can.
I know I'm not the best driver out there, but I also know I don't suck.
Oh, one more thing... The local circle track pays out more in purses every year than all the rallies and rally related contingencies combined. Most people are appalled when then realize that I don't win anything for an event that is nationally televised. Something is wrong here.