Win on Sunday, sell on Monday. This has been a mantra for automakers for the past hundred years, and success in motorsport is seen as a sufficiently laudable goal that major automakers around the world are investing tens of millions – heck, hundreds millions of dollars – to compete, if not to win. But, is it real? Does “win Sunday, sell Monday” hold up?
I think the answer is obvious – because, if winning races Actually cars sold, Lancia would be the best-selling automobile brand on Earth.
WHY ARE WE TALKING ABOUT LANCIA?
In 1974, 1975, 1976, 1983, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991 and 1992 various cars bearing the Lancia shield and flag emblem won the World Rally Championship. The company, owned by parent company Fiat, has spent millions on rallying – and the cars that brought it ultimate success couldn’t be more different from each other. In the 1970s, it was the small Fulvia FWD that won the crown first, giving way to the mid-engined, Dino-powered Stratos supercar later. This the car was replaced by the RWD 307, which was based on the roadside Montecarlo, a sort of mid-engined high-end commuter car of the MR2 / Fiero variety which (due to copyright issues) was sold in the United States with the “Scorpion” nameplate. This car was also replaced – this time with a four-door sedan called the Delta, which propelled Lancia into its greatest era of rally domination.
The glory of Lancia was unquestionable. Its sales, on the other hand, have been dismal.
Sales were so dismal, in fact, that Lancia withdrew from the US market after the 1982 model year, after only seven years in the market. On the other side of the pond, the situation was not much better. Despite some good times here and there, Lancia eventually pulled out of all international markets. Today, you can still only buy a Lancia in Italy – and the available car is a chic little hatch the size of a Toyota Yaris called the Ypislon, or “Y” … as in “Y bother? “
THE WRONG TYPE OF MOTORSPORT
You could argue here that, well, it was a rally. Rallying is cool and all, but it’s a bit marginal, even for racing fans. Hell, if Sony hadn’t put rally cars in Gran Turismo 2, most Americans under the age of 40 might never have heard of Lancia – let alone know Monster Tajima and its cars. Twin-engine Suzuki racing to conquer Pike’s Peak (which, while we’re at it, hasn’t done much for Suzuki sales either). Maybe rallying is the problem here, and not “motorsport”. Maybe we should talk about drag races.
Depending on who you think, the term “win on Sunday, sell on Monday” was actually coined by a Ford dealer named Bob Tasca. Tasca dealers gave it a lot of juice with Ford in the 1960s, and it was one of Tasca’s dragsters that introduced the Cobra Jet 428 engine to racing. And, for Bob, “win Sunday, sell Monday” was more than just a mantra – it was something he made.
When he wasn’t busy helping Carroll Shelby shoehorn a Ford V8 289 ci under the hood of an AC Ace to create the very first Cobra, Tasca dealers would modify the all-new Mustangs, then take them to New England to show them off. before putting them right back on the showroom floor, with properly “raised” price tags and real Jackson Pollock’ed rubber, racetrack burnt, in the rear wheel arches.
Two generations later, Bob Tasca III is still an NHRA Funny Car series drag racing Ford Mustang. He’s also been very successful, with 10 career wins (as I’m typing this) and 28 final-round appearances to his famous name – but unlike his grandfather, the Bob III Mustangs race on Sunday are nowhere near those of. his family. dealers sell on Monday.
All the same, it seems the investment in drag racing is worth it for Tasca and Ford.
“We are able to measure what our involvement in vehicle sales is doing,” said world motorsport manager Mark Rushbrook in an interview with Australia. Which car automotive magazine. “As well as the difference between winning and just being on the track. Winning is important to our customers and instills in them a sense of pride in owning a Ford vehicle. “
Although I do not have exact figures, it is safe to say that Ford currently employs a parcel data scientists – and these people are clever clever. Their research led to a new project in Germany that uses GPS and foot traffic data to switch Ford hybrids between ICE and EV modes to minimize human exposure to exhaust fumes and maximize the potential of ‘spaces’. greens ”to eliminate carbon emissions. As such, if they say they can measure the influence of running, I believe them.
IS IT JUST DRAG RACE, THEN?
Let’s change gears, turn our gaze a bit to NASCAR, where Kyle Larson (a driver most famous for dropping the ‘n-word’ in a live iRacing event during the pandemic) was awarded a multi-year sponsorship deal. which will put Hendrick Auto The group’s website on the hood of its race car until 2023. Larson quickly won some races, which Hendrick said drove enough traffic to HendrickCars.com to hit 1.8 million in leads and over $ 5 million in TV exposure.
“We’re having the best year we’ve ever had,” said Rick Hendrick, whose stores include the nation’s largest private dealership. “The market is flamboyant.
Of course, there are probably a few cynics out there who will see Hendrick’s sponsorship and web traffic success as something having more to do with NASCAR’s mainstream audience supporting racism than a winning driver, but even they don’t. can’t deny that Larson is making the headlines – and besides “win on Sunday, sell on Monday”, there’s another famous saying that goes, “there’s no bad publicity”. Maybe there’s a bit of that at stake here, too.
Ultimately, however, it’s not about whether winning actually sells cars – it’s about who believe that earn sells cars. Edsel Ford II, great-grandson of Henry Ford, is among those who believe.
“I’m old school, so I guess I still believe that if you win on Sunday you’re doing your best to sell on Monday,” Ford said. APNews. “Winning is so important to us and we do our best to market our wins to our customers, to our fans, and we hope they come on a Monday and buy a Ford.”
As a racing fan, I hope they will too – I need something to do on Sunday while everyone in the Midwest is watching football.
OTHER FAMOUS SUNDAY WINNERS / MONDAY LOSERS
We’ve picked Lancia a bit, here – but they’re not the only automaker to win on Sunday to shit on the showroom floor on Monday. Motorsport history is littered with the remnants of cheeky, upstart automakers who turned to racing in order to “prove themselves” against established names in the industry. Some, like Warren Mosler’s GTP Consular, have come to be appreciated in recent years, despite the fact that less than a handful of these dominant race winners have never found buyers. Others, like the Chrysler-based Talbot Sunbeam Lotus, would still be mocked even by the most indulgent of Facebook’s dedicated shitbox loves, despite the fact that they snatched the World Rally Championship from the powerful fingers of Lancia and Audi in 1981. More recently, both Marussia and Spyker have launched brands, built cars, gone their way in Formula 1, then run out of steam with barely a whisper of appreciation for – at least, in Spyker’s case – theirs. distinct perspectives on the supercar.
What do you think, my dear B&B – is there something in this whole motorsport = sales equation, or is it more of a battle of fragile egos at the top of the business trying to outdo themselves in the press? ? And, if so, is that really such a bad thing? Scroll down to the comments and let us know.
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