F1 USA Still Only LukewarmMatt Vella
No doubt about it, all eyes fall on Detroit in January as major manufacturers take the wraps off their latest and greatest at the North American International Auto Show. But, elsewhere, some of the most stunning cars in the world – vehicles that effectively blend aspects of the high-concepts and production-ready cars shown in the motor city – are also making flashy debuts: the 2007 Formula One cars.
Aside from the fanfare accompanying those launches, it looks like Formula One’s parent CVC has providing a side of excitement by securing a loan for $2.9 billion, an effort to simplify the triumvirate of companies that manages the sport. (Read all about the deal, here.)
Key to staying on top is expansion, primarily eastward. China and India represent huge and lucrative media markets, “awash with cash” says one UK analyst. But, more importantly investors in those countries have the dough to build and maintain new tracks whereas Europeans are increasingly struggling.
As for American prospects, everybody I talked to made the same judgment: lukewarm at best.