BMW takes a hit

The global credit crunch has yet to have any real impact on Formula 1 but there is little doubt that some of the companies involved in the sport are feeling the pain being caused by the downturn of the world economy. Banks have suffered considerably and we hear that this has affected the VIP policy of several of them, with planned visits to F1 races being cancelled so as not to send out the wrong message to investors. But the problems of the world economy go beyond just the banks because they are also affecting the automobile markets. BMW last week wrote off a loss of $372m occasioned by a collapse in the value of used cars.

"The financial crisis has become more severe of late," the German company said in a statement. "This has resulted in a drop in pre-owned car selling prices, particularly in North America, and consequently in a reduction of revenues that can be generated on vehicles at the end of lease contracts. This downward trend accelerated during the month of March."

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