FEBRUARY 21, 2002
A sign of the times
VOLKSWAGEN AH has announced that it is going to be stopping production at five of its factories over the Easter holiday period because of the drop in demand for new cars. The holiday will mean that the company will reduce its output by 15,000 cars. Although this will not a hugely dramatic effect on the companies balance sheet it is a sign that all the big companies may need to take similar actions in the months ahead as the demand slows down.
For the moment the slowdown in the world's economy has not had any dramatic effect on Formula 1 racing although there have been few significant new sponsorship deals in the last few months. Several teams have made a song and dance about new deals but the money involved in most of these cases is minimal or the deals have been done as part of bigger industrial arrangements.