BMW to leave Formula One at end of 2009

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Post Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:44 am

timbo wrote:Supposedly their marketing department doesn't view F1 WDC or WCC title as significant for the brand.

or they don't value what the F1 brand will bring to BMW in the next 3 years.

Remember, BMW is about prestige, exclusivity, a show of success. F1 under 'budget cap'-like costs is no longer exclusive to only the best (and as such BMW proving to beat the best), but to any lower level teams who can put 40-80mil of sponsorship together.

How would the board perceive the negative PR and brand damage, were BMW lose to worldly unknowns such as Campos-Meta, Manor, or USF1?
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Fil
 
Joined: 15 Jan 2007
Location: Melbourne, Aus.

Post Fri Aug 07, 2009 11:14 am

Or much worse still, keep losing out to Mercedes, and even german based Toyota, without a credible xcuse. :lol:
"I spent most of my money on wine and women...I wasted the rest"
xpensive
 
Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Location: Somewhere in Scandinavia

Post Thu Sep 03, 2009 1:41 pm

Rumores about BMW:

Bahar departs Ferrari, bound for Lotus?

grandprix.com wrote:Ferrari has announced that its head of global branding Dany Bahar has left the team after two years.
(...)
It is also rumoured that he will be heading up a new Team Lotus in F1, which will be put together from the remains of the BMW Sauber team. The Lotus company is owned by Malaysian government-controlled car company Proton.
(...)
The word in Malaysia is that Bahar and Mike Gascoyne are involved in the deal, which is also believed to involve Litespeed, the Formula 3 team that originally had the idea to restart Team Lotus and acquired the rights to the name, hoping that it would bring support from Malaysia. The Malaysian government has been involved with the Sauber team since the mid 1990s through Petronas and has been paying as much as $70m a year in sponsorship in recent years. Owning the team is thus a sensible move given the level of investment involved and because the Malaysians want to develop more sales for the Lotus company. The suggestion in Kuala Lumpur is that the team will be revealed in Singapore at the end of the month.

If it goes ahead the deal will be masterminded by Prime Minister Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak, who came to office in April.
zgred
 
Joined: 16 Mar 2009

Post Thu Sep 03, 2009 2:49 pm

That's pretty credible IMO. Lotus have just launched a new car (the wonderful Evora). It's believed that Bahar has left Ferrari to be the Group Lotus' new CEO.

It would be wonderful - if a little odd as surely the team and facilities would stay outside of the UK.

zgred wrote:Rumores about BMW:

Bahar departs Ferrari, bound for Lotus?

grandprix.com wrote:Ferrari has announced that its head of global branding Dany Bahar has left the team after two years.
(...)
It is also rumoured that he will be heading up a new Team Lotus in F1, which will be put together from the remains of the BMW Sauber team. The Lotus company is owned by Malaysian government-controlled car company Proton.
(...)
The word in Malaysia is that Bahar and Mike Gascoyne are involved in the deal, which is also believed to involve Litespeed, the Formula 3 team that originally had the idea to restart Team Lotus and acquired the rights to the name, hoping that it would bring support from Malaysia. The Malaysian government has been involved with the Sauber team since the mid 1990s through Petronas and has been paying as much as $70m a year in sponsorship in recent years. Owning the team is thus a sensible move given the level of investment involved and because the Malaysians want to develop more sales for the Lotus company. The suggestion in Kuala Lumpur is that the team will be revealed in Singapore at the end of the month.

If it goes ahead the deal will be masterminded by Prime Minister Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak, who came to office in April.
- Axle
axle
 
Joined: 22 Jun 2004
Location: Norfolk, UK

Post Thu Sep 03, 2009 3:01 pm

Just to confirm Bahar IS officially the new CEO of Grp Lotus.
- Axle
axle
 
Joined: 22 Jun 2004
Location: Norfolk, UK

Post Thu Sep 03, 2009 3:12 pm

axle wrote:It would be wonderful - if a little odd as surely the team and facilities would stay outside of the UK.


What's odd about it? One wouldn't expect Lotus to, amidst their busiest period in recent memory, clear the floors to park an entire F1 operation in the space of a few months pre-season.

It doesn't really matter where the team is. It'll be easier buying the ashes of another team, some experience with the current aero regs and a partially-completed 2010 design than it is starting from scratch. It doesn't matter where Lotus Cars is based. An F1 team, wherever it's located, would only be a marketing exercise. They could run it from Mars so long as the cars turned up on race weekend with the approprite branding... and were relatively competitive.

It'll be interesting to hear how many Euros BMW parted with the team for (if they do) given F1 teams essentially being devalued given budget cuts.

Also what any potential buyer gets for an engine - and how the other new boys feel about it. It would seem the goal posts have shifted a bit since 20kRPM Cosworths were the go...
SZ
 
Joined: 21 May 2007

Post Thu Sep 03, 2009 3:19 pm

SZ wrote:
axle wrote:It would be wonderful - if a little odd as surely the team and facilities would stay outside of the UK.


What's odd about it? One wouldn't expect Lotus to, amidst their busiest period in recent memory, clear the floors to park an entire F1 operation in the space of a few months pre-season.

It doesn't really matter where the team is. It'll be easier buying the ashes of another team, some experience with the current aero regs and a partially-completed 2010 design than it is starting from scratch. It doesn't matter where Lotus Cars is based. An F1 team, wherever it's located, would only be a marketing exercise. They could run it from Mars so long as the cars turned up on race weekend with the approprite branding... and were relatively competitive.

It'll be interesting to hear how many Euros BMW parted with the team for (if they do) given F1 teams essentially being devalued given budget cuts.

Also what any potential buyer gets for an engine - and how the other new boys feel about it. It would seem the goal posts have shifted a bit since 20kRPM Cosworths were the go...


It was only a minor thought about the location - nothing to write home about...
- Axle
axle
 
Joined: 22 Jun 2004
Location: Norfolk, UK

Post Thu Sep 03, 2009 4:41 pm

Well... possibly 'less odd' if it reappears as a joint Lotus-Sauber entry... wasn't Sauber trying to take it back at some point?
SZ
 
Joined: 21 May 2007

Post Thu Sep 03, 2009 5:23 pm

SZ wrote:Well... possibly 'less odd' if it reappears as a joint Lotus-Sauber entry... wasn't Sauber trying to take it back at some point?

Yep, he was, but seems like BMW wanted more than he could offer.
timbo
 
Joined: 22 Oct 2007

Post Thu Sep 03, 2009 5:43 pm

Of course they'll want more... if they'd gotten out a year ago pre cost-cutting when the price of entering F1 was higher, they'd have gotten more. Hell, they bought the team in the F1-spending-is-out-of-control era and paid a relevant price for a high-midfield team with some awesome resources (not least a spanking new wind tunnel and a very flash supercomputer). Three new teams got in for probably £60-80m running with very little actual startup cost. An existing team is worth more, but how much? Its interesting to note that Sauber has every right (given the worth of an F1 team at the moment) to buy the team back for less than he sold it, though the exit costs for BMW are not insignificant. One can't imagine Sauber having asked for both a low price and full staffing. It's telling.

It's compounded by this being a bastard time to sell an F1 team given design and political arguments. Teams are now 100% into their next year's car. Noone really knows what's going on at BMW-Sauber regards next year's car but it's significant enough that the staff designing it are probably not terribly enthusiastic right now and likely looking for other work and that the only engine design they have access to is most certainly not the one their car will race with (if it does). Worse still, buying the team's assets doesn't automatically guarantee a grid slot. The team spot is open, it's not necessarily guaranteed to go to whoever buys BMW Sauber (or is it? Someone correct me here.) The new teams will kick up a total stink if the engine isn't a Cosworth; they'll be racing with a package that originally was 20kRPM and unlimited changes that's now been hamstrung to the same rules as everyone else and less development. When they signed on, this was the only option.

So there are a lot of unknowns.

Remember what I posted a while ago... that BMW has announced a withdrawl, not a sale, means that they're now prepared to write the team off completely if they have to. There are significant exit costs, largely associated with personnel. New buyers won't want to take those costs on. Any negotiation is going to be as much about what price the team is sold for as it will be about what form the sale takes (what equipment, what IP, what staffing, etc).

/end speculative rant

Sadly it sounds like a team waiting for some rich race-crazy individuals to throw money at. To think under Sauber it was a marvel of how to spend a modest budget wisely, and go racing intelligently...

...we hope for the best.
SZ
 
Joined: 21 May 2007

Post Thu Sep 03, 2009 6:22 pm

SZ wrote:Remember what I posted a while ago... that BMW has announced a withdrawl, not a sale, means that they're now prepared to write the team off completely if they have to.

Yes, it seems like BMW is pretty much ready to just close the door. Don't you think it is indirect evidence of withdrawal being more "image" decision than straightforward "I can't afford it anymore" business decision?
My guess that Peter Sauber had raised some money, at lest he already had its share within a team? They could have an agreement on prize money and had Peter signed Concord he could guarantee future payment.
timbo
 
Joined: 22 Oct 2007

Post Thu Sep 03, 2009 10:17 pm

Fil wrote:
timbo wrote:Supposedly their marketing department doesn't view F1 WDC or WCC title as significant for the brand.

or they don't value what the F1 brand will bring to BMW in the next 3 years.

Remember, BMW is about prestige, exclusivity, a show of success. F1 under 'budget cap'-like costs is no longer exclusive to only the best (and as such BMW proving to beat the best), but to any lower level teams who can put 40-80mil of sponsorship together.


i think its more to do with who buys bmw's these days
qw56q
 
Joined: 13 Mar 2009

Post Thu Sep 03, 2009 10:28 pm

Have you guys seen their production numbers or simply how many BMW's are out on the road? Exclusivity has been left far behind.

Either way, if you own a car simply for exclusivity you're a douche bag anyways. :mrgreen:
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mx_tifoso
 
Joined: 30 Nov 2006
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Post Mon Sep 07, 2009 7:41 am

Happened last night, didn't it? :wink:
"I spent most of my money on wine and women...I wasted the rest"
xpensive
 
Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Location: Somewhere in Scandinavia

Post Mon Sep 07, 2009 8:48 am

Fil wrote:or they don't value what the F1 brand will bring to BMW in the next 3 years.

Remember, BMW is about prestige, exclusivity, a show of success. F1 under 'budget cap'-like costs is no longer exclusive to only the best (and as such BMW proving to beat the best), but to any lower level teams who can put 40-80mil of sponsorship together.


Based on your logic I really don't see why BMW participate in any touring car events. I mean, losing to SEATs and DAEWOOS/Chevrolets has got to be bottom of the barrel. They would be better off competing in the LeMans series or maybe DTC. Or some new form of motorsport which pushes the ethos of their 'Efficient Dynamics' campaign. Or perhaps take the highroad on not compete in motorsport at all?
gibells
 
Joined: 8 Apr 2009
Location: Andalucia, Spain

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