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Gass “Skeptical” of Dual VW Brand Representation

Audi Sport boss Dieter Gass expresses concern about two VW brands competing in FE…

Photo: Audi Sport

Head of Audi Sport Dieter Gass says that having two Volkswagen Group brands in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship gives him “reason for concern” as Porsche gets set to enter the series alongside Audi later this year.

Audi and Porsche have raced together in series and championships several times in the past, most recently in the FIA World Endurance Championship between 2014 and 2016.

On that occasion there was known to be internal frictions regarding the competition between the two brands and the messaging associated with dual campaigns for both companies

“The situation is, we do have a group [VW] motorsport but at the end the day, every brand within the group is responsible for their own motorsport programs,” Gass told e-racing365.

“So that was basically a decision which has been taken by Porsche on their own, independent from any other brand of the group.”

Gass described how he was in favor of brands within the Group not competing in the same discipline where possible.

This is because he believes the economic situations benefit a single brand representing a major manufacturer.

“Personally, in particular the current situation of the automotive sector and the group, for me this is a reason for concern, because, having seen the situation in the WEC, we have the same thing,” he said.

Gass also raised doubt about the long-term viability of both Audi and Porsche competing in Formula E as the championship continues to grow.

“I’m really skeptical if it’s affordable for the group to do that on a long term [basis].”

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for Motorsport.com from 2014-17. Contact Sam

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Chris Llana

    February 7, 2019 at 1:03 pm

    Party pooper!

  2. Avatar

    ocon

    February 8, 2019 at 8:28 am

    FE program budget is nowhere near WEC´s…
    They have funding for two more VAG teams like Lambo and Bugatti

  3. Avatar

    J

    February 8, 2019 at 7:58 pm

    Maybe he’s concerned that Porsche will come and take Audi’s lunch money like it did in the WEC.

    VAG wouldn’t have as many brands as it does if it wasn’t beneficial to the group, and it wasn’t able to successfully segment and differentiate them in the marketplace.

    Most layman don’t associate the specific brands with the larger group anyway, so the marketing messages can still reach their specific target audiences. People don’t see VAG competing, they see Audi, Porsche, and Lamborghini competing.

    Using Gass’ rationale, Lambo shouldn’t be competing against Audi in GT racing either, especially since the corporate structure has Lambo underneath Audi’s umbrella!

  4. Avatar

    Old Trombone

    February 9, 2019 at 11:46 am

    With corporate consolidation in the manufacturing sector, like the Ford/VW tie-up, unless these behemoths allow their brands to compete on the track, we won’t have competition at all anymore. There will be just:

    Ford/VW
    GM/FCA
    BMW-Toyota
    Daimler (now owned by the German govt)
    Peugeot/Renault/Opel (if Tavares can do it, it’s not certain)
    Mahindra
    Geely

    And only the top 4 have any interest in racing as part of their PR depts.

    • Avatar

      Old Trombone

      February 9, 2019 at 11:57 am

      Excuse me and apologies to Professor Dr Sir Dilbagh Gill, and how dare I suggest Mahindra is any less than hyper-competitive WINNERS and good on ‘em too!

    • Avatar

      Kris G.

      February 9, 2019 at 1:12 pm

      Let’s correct a few mistakes in your rationale:
      GM and FCA don’t have any relationship in any level;
      Peugeot bought Opel but any past agreement with Renault was undone for decades now;
      Renault is associated with Nissan and Mitsubishi.

    • Avatar

      HaskellB

      February 9, 2019 at 10:23 pm

      Mahindra – Formula E and MotoGP
      Tata Group – Formula E and GT4 (Jaguar)
      Geely – Several domestic racing series including Formula 4 in China

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