Despite having great success in the last three years, including a pair of wins in the series’ most recent event, Chevrolet announced today that their factory commitment in the World Touring Car Championship will be halted by the end of the current season.
The American manufacturer had joined WTCC from the championship’s maiden year back in 2005 with the Lacetti model; but it wasn’t until Chevy switched to the Cruze in 2009 that it started tasting real success. The Bowtie Brigade won the Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ titles in 2010 and 2011. The Chevrolet team is currently close to secure a third consecutive victory in both championships with Yvan Muller leading the driver points.
“We thank Chevrolet for supporting the WTCC over the last eight years. They joined from day 1 after they decided to make Chevrolet a global brand outside the US,” said Olivier Fisch, Managing Director of Eurosport Events. “They have been consistent, successful and actively used WTCC international platform to activate their network and build-up the brand profile. We very much mutually benefited from each other. We fully respect their decision and will keep on developing WTCC as an efficient promotional platform.”
“We are extremely proud of the two double world titles we have won,” commented President and Managing Director of Chevrolet Europe Susan Docherty. “The WTCC has been a powerful brand platform and showcase for Chevrolet in Europe and markets throughout the world.”
Despite the massive success of the Chevrolet brand in WTCC competition, series General Manager Marcello Lotti shrugged off the departure as part of the business.
“This is motorsport! Manufacturers come and go. It happens to all the series every now and then, but life goes on,” Lotti commented. “We now say goodbye to Chevrolet that has been a precious partner for what an unusual long period for a motorsport program, but at the same time we welcome Honda’s arrival and are in negotiations with a few other car makers interested to join.”
Chevrolet expects that despite the factory support disappearing from the series next year, that several privateer teams will continue using the Cruze models in 2013 WTCC competition.