Will Citroën walk if Loeb walks?
Recent drama surrounding Peugeot and it’s announcement of massive layoffs made for an interesting thought, evil even – scumbag Volkswagen and Hyundai are destroying the european car markets for other brands, and when they’re done they’ll enter World Rally Championship to have some outdoor fun.
On a slightly more serious note, Peugeot thing is quite worrying. Put aside the fact that General Motors obviously has a keen sense of how to pick a troubled brand for it’s partners, Peugeot’s trouble sent shockwaves throughout car industry. And it wasn’t long before questions started popping – will Peugeot’s cuts also impact PSA Peugeot Citroën’s WRC programme?
We got our answer today in a form of what else but Autosport article. According to the statement by Citroëns’s spokesperson, brand’s WRC project is not at risk. However, there is an interesting bit of info in that statement, at least for someone used to read without giving it a proper thinking, such as me!
“…we are doing our best to look at options to reduce the financial support of the brand in our sporting package.”
Can it please not be true. What I feared would happen for quite some time now – if and when Sebastien Loeb decides to end his WRC career, Citroën would follow by retreating from the Championship as well. I am aware of the silliness of this idea, but is it really that outrageous? Citroën would actually have every “right” to leave, after all but conquering the sport for (too) many years, thanks to their abilities and lack of the same in competing team(s).
Perhaps I’m reading that statement without proper understanding, hardly suprising given the amount (what amount?) of information given to us regarding the future of the sport. Perhaps Citroën simply issued a kind of warning to the WRC and FIA to continue their efforts in bringing the costs down. Or is Citroën just saying they’re going to reduce their manufacturer support and bring in some major backer to finance their WRC programme?
With Ford still being very worried about the future of their WRC involvement, and with FIA’s trademark silence on the subject (but we will know EVERYTHING in September, that’s not too late now, is it?) Citroën is going to be very, very careful in weighing their options for WRC. Massive financial cuts within the PSA group will surely lead them to rethink the idea of being part of poorly covered and not-at-all promoted yet very expensive WRC project.
Surely they can wait till September. Or Christmas.