Teams must learn says Ma­ho­nen

Motor Sport News - - Rally News -

FIA rally di­rec­tor Jarmo Ma­ho­nen has no con­cerns about the po­ten­tial im­pact of Volk­swa­gen’s de­par­ture from the World Rally Cham­pi­onship.

Ma­ho­nen de­scribed the loss of the four-time world cham­pi­ons as a ‘big hit’ but added that he hoped some of the re­main­ing and in­bound man­u­fac­tur­ers would learn from the way Volk­swa­gen used its WRC pro­gramme.

Volk­swa­gen wrapped an al­len­com­pass­ing mar­ket­ing ef­fort around its world cham­pi­onship com­mit­ment, set­ting pre­vi­ously un­matched stan­dards for fan in­ter­ac­tion.

Ma­ho­nen ap­plauded the Ger­man man­u­fac­turer as much for that as for its sport­ing suc­cesses.

“It [Volk­swa­gen’s de­par­ture] feels big­ger than it was,” said Ma­ho­nen. “Of course it’s a big hit, but I have no fear for the cham­pi­onship. We have Toy­ota and Citroen com­ing back and I just hope they fol­low [Volk­swa­gen’s lead] in putting the ef­fort on mar­ket­ing. They showed the oth­ers how it should be done when they make the in­vest­ment they made sure they did ev­ery­thing they could to get ev­ery­thing out of their in­vest­ment – they have been like a book from the uni­ver­sity show­ing us how the mar­ket­ing should be done.

“Twenty years ago, it was peo­ple in­side the man­u­fac­tur­ers who had the pas­sion that made the firms com­pete in the WRC, but now the money comes from the mar­ket­ing depart­ment and it has to be jus­ti­fied.”

VW pushed its PR over the last four years

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