How rallying helps Skoda dealership sell more cars Car News

Even though Simpson loves the sport, the whole campaign is built on a solid business case that is frequently subject to outside scrutiny.

“I’m lucky to have a brilliant board and finance team,” Simpson says. “They would tell me unequivocally if there was no more case for the rally team. But instead they are the first to see the benefits.

The business case is no doubt helped by Simpson’s prowess as a rally driver. It’s almost impossible to jump into one of these cars and be on the right pace, but he has an illustrious career behind him as a former works driver for Volkswagen.

He may have had a professional career as a rally driver, but the family business had to be taken care of. It was founded by his grandfather, who started by selling Wartburgs (Simpson still has a Wartburg in his personal collection, as well as a mint condition Skoda Octavia vRS Mk1).

The 50-year-old Simpson can still cut it with drivers who have a lot more seat time. But it’s not even about the results, he says: “It’s about making everyone feel good: myself, my amazing co-driver Mike Gibson, the whole family business and the wider community of customers and friends who support us.

“Rallying can be a massive force for good – and we’ve shown it’s good for business, too.”

The history of the dealership rally team

Simpson has demonstrated how rallying can provide a real business boost to car dealerships, but he’s far from the first to come up with the idea. Here are some other dealership rally teams that have taken on motorsport’s biggest challenge in the past…

David Sutton Cars was the only true privateer team to win the WRC (in 1981, with Ari Vatanen in a Ford Escort). The Kronos team did something similar in 2006 with Sebastien Loeb, but it had a lot of support from the Citroën factory. David Sutton himself passed away last year, but you can still buy a new road car from David Sutton Cars.

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This notice was published: 2022-05-26 09:01:23

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