Buyout brand activation better than a factory team?

This new decade looks to be the period where car brands may prefer to buy another existing F1 team brand and save on having to invest in years of development.

They may choose to brand only on cars and teams and circuits on the global F1 calendar as primary investors. Aston Martin and Red Bull come to mind even with Mercedes providing power to the Aston Martin road cars. Alfa Romeo and Sauber are another F1 team with new car marketing without the actual power plant under the cover.

We heard many times of VW entering and Porsche returning with nothing from BMW who must be feeling a change against them in global luxury car market share as Mercedes dominate.

Mercedes-Benz remains the world’s most popular luxury car brand, outselling its German arch-rivals BMW and Audi for the third successive year.

Combined sales of Mercedes-Benz cars and SUVs were 2,310,185 units last calendar year, up 0.6 per cent on 2017. This doesn’t include vans, which are sold by a distinct organisation.

But it was a close-run thing. The BMW brand sold 1,959,460 cars, though its growth rate was higher. Audi sales, meanwhile, dipped 3.5 per cent in a “difficult environment” (tough WLTP emissions rules, which wreaked havoc across the VW Group) to 1,812,500 units.

Of course, these are just headline numbers.

Rolls-Royce globally posted its best result in the 116-year history of the company – with 5152 vehicles reported as sold – once again largely driven by sales of the Cullinan SUV.

Rolls-Royce’s 2019 result was 25 per cent higher than its previous record of 4107 set in 2018.

Bentley was less fortunate that its British rival Rolls-Royce: sales dipped by 8.2 per cent, although it sold 191 new vehicles in Australia last year.

The exceptions are Maserati (down 24.9 per cent to 482) and Aston Martin (down 22.8 per cent to 129), while demand for McLaren models remained stable, selling the exact same number of cars in 2019 as it did in 2018 (88). Source Car Advice online:

We may see a billionaire or two look to buy more percentage ownership in a team or take control like Mr Lawrence Stroll where his son is a key non-negotiable part of any of his new future dealings. Rolls-Royce and Bentley look to Asia and the UAE for sales growth of their luxury range, will they see Formula One as a place to brand, they may do with the reach being a perfect match.

Factory costs are enormous to enter Formula One so it’s a no-brainer to look at re-badging or activating your brand support for a team where they are not an auto brand title owner like a Scuderia Ferrari. A team like them have major backing from Philip Morris, Fiat and sponsors. They are selling their own luxury brand, it’s highly unlikely a competitive marque would be accepted as a new brand sponsor.

Williams, Haas and Racing Point would be ideal targets for these brands whilst they remain in the sport as independent F1 teams.