FEBRUARY 18, 2005

Dodge looking at the bigger picture

It is undoubtedly just a coincidence but just a couple of weeks after Ray Evernham announced that he would be setting up an engine operation in Northampton, to be called Evernham Advanced Engine Technology to assist him in his efforts to win in the NASCAR Nextel Cup there comes news that Dodge, which Evernham represents in NASCAR is planning a global expansion in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and Africa. All in all, one might even surmise that a Formula 1 programme might be entirely suitable for the US firm. It is worth noting that Dodge's sister company Mercedes-Benz builds F1 engines at Brixnorth, near Northampton, and even before this announcement we heard rumours that there Evernham would not be competing with Ilmor but rather working in a close alliance with the firm. Could this be the start of a new US engine project in F1?

Dodge's plan is to expand in the midsize car market (known as the C segment) and in the more exclusive D segment in competition with the likes of Audi, BMW and Renault - classic F1 positioning.

"We have a clear brand identity for Dodge. The brand is all about attitude - it's bold, confident and assertive," says Joe Eberhardt, executive vice president of global Sales, marketing and service. "And we have established a strong and distinct identity for our new Dodge products. That's what allowed us to tease international markets with the introduction of the Dodge Viper SRT10 roadster last year and hint at where we can go in the years to come."

Hint taken.