Wednesday, November 22, 2006

NASCAR Goes Global

NASCAR Goes Global
[Fool.com: Commentary] November 22, 2006, By Todd Wenning

"You can go to Beirut to buy a Whopper; why can't you come from Tokyo and race in America?"-- Michael Waltrip, NASCAR driver
Michael Waltrip has a point.
It's no secret that Toyota's (NYSE: TM) entry into NASCAR has been poorly received by some racing traditionalists. To some purists, the Japanese automaker's presence in an American sport dominated by the "Big Three" -- Ford (NYSE: F), General Motors (NYSE: GM), and DaimlerChrysler (NYSE: DCX) -- is unnecessary at best and downright unpatriotic at worst. (Somehow it's not an issue that Chrysler is now merged with a giant German company.)
Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, of course. But in any market in which there's a ton of money to be made, companies -- regardless of country of origin -- will be there to make profits. Heck, that's the American way. And NASCAR is one such market, with a reported 75 million fans that spend an estimated $2.1 billion on licensed merchandise each year.
In other words, Toyota would be downright stupid and we'd be downright hypocritical to let the Big Three have all the fun in such a profitable and growing niche...read more: here

11/22/2006 09:37:00 AM

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