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Could VW be back in the IndyCar picture? Now about the possibility of additional manufacturers participating in IndyCar. One rumor that persists is that there will be some sort of Italian connection to IndyCar, with the new Fiat-Chrysler car company - which is hot to re-launch Alfa Romeo-branded products here in the U.S. once it gets fully integrated and positioned to prepare for its IPO - a very strong possibility to enter the fray. But over the weekend Sergio Marchionne, the Fiat-Chrysler CEO, made the jaw-dropping comment that before Fiat SpA moves forward with consolidating Chrysler Group LLC into one company that the Italian industrial giant may sell auto-parts division Magneti Marelli SpA and its stake in Ferrari, this according to a Bloomberg News report that just emerged today.
That news suggests to me that if Fiat-Chrysler gets involved in IndyCar that the announcement isn't imminent by any stretch of the imagination. And I would say it's highly unlikely that Chrysler would be on the valve covers of an Indy engine but rather Alfa Romeo would seem to be the most likely and logical scenario. But again, given how Marchionne has a lot of work to do and issues to solve in order to get Fiat-Chrysler's financial house in order, I think the idea of an IndyCar effort seems a ways off at this juncture.
Other names mentioned include Ford and possibly a run from the VW Group, whose brands include VW, Audi, Porsche, Bugatti and Bentley just to name a few. As for Ford, I can tell you that there's much discussion going on within Ford regarding the direction of their future racing programs, but that no decision is imminent on any front. And with the VW Group you just never know, as their resources are deep and their will to compete is legendary. I could easily see the VW Group make a move in IndyCar's direction given that they intend on increasing their share here in the U.S. market considerably by 2018. So much so that industry observers - including myself - are highly skeptical of their aggressive sales plans. But I wouldn't be surprised in the least if the VW Group decided that IndyCar was an excellent avenue for some brand image building. Autoextremist.com
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