When I was a kid, a long time ago, and it was time for our family to buy a new car we went to the dealership and bought one. I don’t mean that we shopped around and bought one I mean we went to THE dealership and bought one. There was only one place we would go, in our case it was a Chevrolet dealership where we always bought our cars. I am sure my family had been buying Chevy’s for years. It was the only make my grandparents ever had too.
When I graduated from college and got my first job my, friend’s parents were nice enough to let me stay with them until I got set up. When I showed up at their home they wanted to show me something in their garage. They had a new car, a Toyota Camry. A what! I clearly remember my friend’s dad going on and on about how great, and reliable, the car was. It was the first time I even considered that someone might own something other than an American automobile.
Thirty years later it is clear that the American made car is no longer thought of the same way that it was. It is also clear that Toyota has used their popularity among the masses to begin to dominate NASCAR. Chevrolet has won the past 13 NASCAR manufacturer championships. It is beginning to look as though that streak may be snapped. Here is my take on how it happened.
Toyota consistently out sells other makes of automobiles in the United States. In 2015 the Corolla was #2 selling over 306,000 and the Camry was #1 with over 361,000. The highest selling Ford was the Fusion at #6 (255,000) and the the Focus was #9 (180,000). The highest Chevrolet was the Cruz #8 (193,000). Toyota is riding its popularity amongst US consumers right into the NASCAR. Its great for the sport because the money they are pouring in has made the racing better and more competitive. It wasn’t long ago that they were the third make and were struggling to compete. Not anymore. Chevy has let a team get away and Ford seems to be making a run to become relevant again in the Cup Series. If Chevy isn’t careful they will go from the top to the bottom in a hurry.
I am really hoping that Chevy does something in the off season to infuse more money into the sport, maybe bolster one of the teams that already represent their brand. Do something to combat the loss of SHR and the onslaught from Toyota. Why? Because I am a Chevy guy. I also think they should go back to racing a car that we at least occasionally see on the road. Has anyone ever even seen an SS?
Look, this has nothing to do with American v Foreign manufacturers it has everything to do with those trips to the Chevy dealership I referenced in my opening paragraph. Chevy means something to me because it reminds me of when I was young and of all the cars I have owned since then. Not too many things remain consistent in our lives right?
Thanks for reading!!