NASCAR fans, prepare for the possibility of just one U.S. automaker
It’s no secret the entire auto industry is reeling due to the global economic downturn and sales numbers are way down, particularly in the U.S., and more and more people are being laid off every year.
With all of this economic turmoil, it may be inevitable that some of the U.S. Big 3 automakers end up merging, even if these current talks don’t lead to anything.
And if you follow that logic, it’s conceivable that if the economy stays down for a while, we could end up with one giant company (let’s call it U.S. Auto Corp.) that basically produces all American cars.
I know this is an extreme example and might not happen for a long time, if ever, but don’t discount it as impossible. And were it to come to pass, the effects on NASCAR could be massive.
Right now, one of the major reasons people root for a certain driver or car is their brand loyalty. They’re die-hard GM fans, or dedicated Ford or Dodge fans.
If one firm controlled all American car makes, the sense of being dedicated to one manufacturer wouldn’t make much sense anymore -- even if individual nameplates were kept on the road.
That’s fine by me, as I root for drivers and teams based on the personalities involved, and really could not care less what kind of car they are driving.
But when I imagine a NASCAR race with 20 U.S. Auto cars, 12 Toyotas and 11 Hondas/Nissans, I can also picture some fans not too happy with that situation. There are a lot of race fans who are very dedicated to a specific automaker, and this would be a big adjustment to how they watched the sport.
By no means do I want this doomsday scenario to happen, as the Detroit area and the U.S. in general would likely see massive layoffs if any mergers among the Big 3 happened -- and that’s the absolute last thing we need with the current state of the economy.
But after seeing these rumors of the GM-Chrysler merger, and also hearing that GM was originally talking to Ford about a merger, I’ve come to realize nothing is impossible if this economy doesn‘t start to look up. Coke could merge with Pepsi, the airlines could all become one, and U.S. Auto Corp. could be a reality somewhere down the line.
And NASCAR fans would have to adjust a whole new reality if that ever happened.