Chrysler announced Wednesday it would, starting Friday, shut down all 30 US-based manufacturing plants for a month. Accavitti said that will have no bearing on any NASCAR relationship.
“First off, we had scheduled a [two-week] holiday shutdown, anyway. That part always finds its way out of the story,” Accavitti said. “We’re just extending that for a couple weeks. The reason is the general, overall softening of the automotive market.
Some wonder how cash-strapped automakers can choose to spend on auto racing when the market is so poor. To date, Accavitti said NASCAR has helped move product. And, he continued, there is but one way out of the current abyss: sell more cars.
“You need to advertise your product. There’s one way out of the situation we’re in, and that’s to sell your way out of it,” Accavitti said. “It is a debt-spiral if we stop advertising and expect to sell any vehicles. It’s a proven fact — advertising sells vehicles. NASCAR is a form of advertising.
“We feel we have an appropriate spending effort in NASCAR. That’s the important thing. We have things that people that buy Dodge cars and trucks are very passionate about. NASCAR is one of them. We sell a lot of trucks, a lot of minivans and a lot of Dodge Chargers to NASCAR fans.”