GM Racing - Manufacturers' Panel notes

Team Chevy Participates in Manufacturers' Panel at Daytona Speedweeks Nextel Wakeup Call Daytona International Speedway Terry Dolan, Chevy Racing Manager, participated in a Manufacturers' Panel media conference held this morning as the Nextel...

Team Chevy Participates in Manufacturers' Panel at Daytona Speedweeks

Nextel Wakeup Call
Daytona International Speedway

Terry Dolan, Chevy Racing Manager, participated in a Manufacturers' Panel media conference held this morning as the Nextel Wakeup Call.

Representatives of the major manufacturers involved in NASCAR Nextel Cup Series (NNCS) racing were invited to speak with the attending journalists to discuss the critical role a manufacturer plays in the sport.

Dolan devoted a portion of his remarks to the Impala SS re-entry in to NCCS competition and the benefits of having the legendary nameplate on the track as Chevy's Bowtie leader.

"The Impala SS entering is our brand going to market," said Dolan. "It provides an opportunity for us to take a vehicle that sells in a north of 300,000 units on an annualized basis and use this as a marketing property to help support, from a consumer standpoint, why we are involved in the sport and the benefits it brings back to the consumers on enhancing their perception of our product quality, our durability, our dependability and our reliability."

***

Following is the transcript of Dolan's remarks:

ON IMPALA SS CAR OF TOMORROW: "We have worked for sometime with NASCAR on developing our Car of Tomorrow. We are going to change the branding of the car and how we go to the market to an Impala SS. We see it as a logical transformation for the vehicles we retail to consumers. Impala is available in the showroom with a small-block V8 and is built in a Super Sport configuration as a performance sedan.

"We have also worked extensively with NASCAR to further the safety on the vehicle. The safety of our drivers, our rock stars of the sport, is very important to us. We want to ensure we can continue to protect them and allow them to compete on a regular basis.

"We are excited. We are going to shift to a nameplate that is familiar with racing. Impala started back in 1958 on the race track in this sport and we will bring it back once again. We look forward to Bristol and seeing how the car will perform."

ON BRAND IDENTIFICATION OF CAR OF TOMORROW: "Ultimately the challenge for all of us is to work with our internal stylist in crafting an envelop for the vehicle that is closely parallel to what the consumer sees on the street. We will all have differing opinions as to where the balance point is and how you optimize that. The important part is the value that racing in the sport brings; the outreach that it provides as an opportunity from consumer marketing perspective.

"And, while I don't disagree we would like to enhance the vehicle to more closely connect with our showroom vehicles, we still have many opportunities here to work within the frame work to deliver a return on our investment."

ON NEW MANUFACTURER ENTRY IN TO NASCAR NEXTEL CUP RACING: "By all means, this takes a continuous dedication and focus on the ball to be affective in the sport. Keep in mind that we are dealing with times that on qualifying day can range from just two or three tenths of a second from a pole position to the last starter in the field.

"It requires all of us to stay on our game, to work effectively and have an infrastructure of engineers that can facilitate collaboration with our teams to achieve on-track excellence. It does not happen by chance. It is a well-choreographed strategy that helps deliver the on-track success.

"We have been through periods before where a manufacturer has entered the sport. It does create a significant re-calibration for all. We have to be prepared to step up to the challenge."

ON CHALLENGES WITH STATE OF DETROIT AUTO INDUSTRY IN CONTINUING IN RACING: "It is really important to look at the dynamic nature of today's business world. As fast paced as it changes, it requires all of us to adjust to how we measure and receive a return on investment in the sport. The old adage of win on Sunday, sell on Monday is an entirely different perspective today. How you go to market today with you assets you gain from your on-track performance and turn that into a boardroom presentation that showcases the money that is being expended requires a different mindset and different go-to-market strategy.

"As you look at what Chevrolet does in the industry, we've modified what we do significantly. If you have a chance to walk outside of turn four (Daytona International Speedway) and see the showroom of product that is on display and the inter-activity that provide for consumers to touch and feel and experience our product, we are working on influencing their opinion and consideration to purchase.

"I just can't go on the race track, run last with a race car and have that turn in to a return on investment that makes sense for my leadership team."

ON LEVERAGING CHEVY NASCAR PROGRAM GLOBALLY: "We are a global company although we are based here in the United States. We participate in series on every on of the continents with the marketing divisions that we build and produce products for in that particular region. We do offshoot programs out of the U.S. where we go to France and compete in the 24-Hour of LeMans with our Corvettes and do so quite successfully where we have brought home five out of the last six championships.

"But for the United States, and a little wider in North America, we compete here in NASCAR and use it as a key marketing property to influence the sales of our cars and trucks. We appreciate the aspect that it is broadcast in 23 languages and in 150 counties and clearly that brings value to us across the globe, but our focus and attention today is what takes place in North America.

"You have to realize there is real cost and investment when you go racing on another continent. When you move a team of hundreds of people to setup shop in another country, it is a logistic challenge and it is not easy. So, based on the experience we have, we are very happy to stay focused on the United States and North America."

ON CAR OF TOMORROW DAMAGING PRIMARY FOCUS OF MANUFACTURERS: "I think we have all gravitated to the COT terminology and quite frankly the phrase "Car of Tomorrow". Recently in a meeting with Tony Stewart, No. 20 Home Depot Monte Carlo SS, and were jokingly talking about it, and I referred to it as the Car of Tomorrow. He was quick to remind me 'No, it is the Impala SS' and got me on a Freudian slip of some our own messaging we have been working on.

"The Impala SS entering is our brand going to market. It provides an opportunity for us to take a vehicle that sells in a north of 300,000 units on an annualized basis and use this as a marketing property to help support, from a consumer standpoint, why we are involved in the sport and the benefits it brings back to the consumers on enhancing their perception of our product quality, our durability, our dependability and our reliability.

"I think it is a great opportunity for us. It is going to require the right strategic management to bring that to life from a consumer perspective and ultimately it will be us in that room that probably either perpetuate the Car of Tomorrow statement or shift to the brands that are racing on the track."

ON MANUFACTURER STANCE OF RULE INFRACTION: "I think we all stand for honesty, integrity and we want to compete fairly. We want to bring home a victory we are all going to be proud of and celebrate the achievement within our ranks, both internally and at the shops with the drivers and the teams.

"You can wax about the difference in rules and how things fit within a box or a template or not. Rules have boundaries and quality people interpret those boundaries and make a decision as to where they feel they need to be."

-credit: gm racing

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Tony Stewart