David Richards Rules Out Honda Purchase At ASI
David Richards took to the centre stage at the Autosport International Show in Birmingham yesterday to talk to fans, writers and businessmen alike. The stalwart of motorsport spoke about motorsport, its state within the current climate, how he will save Aston Martin and most importantly for us how he is NOT going to buy the remnants of the Honda F1 Team.
He still believes it is expensive to join, and at the current time it makes little sense for him to do so.
“All I can say is that I have made it very clear that the only terms (under which) I would ever consider a return or an involvement was if I felt we could be competitive – and nobody expects to win in their first year of Formula One,” he said on the main Autosport stage.
“It has also got to be financially viable. You expect to (have to) invest but you also expect it to work. I just personally feel that the current environment is too unsettled.
“The cost-cutting process that has been put in place has not yet seen its full benefit, and I don’t think it will be until 2010 that you will see those issues roll out properly. The teams have still got a burden of overhead that is unsustainable. So consequently, with the window of time for entry, I just question whether it is right at the moment.”
He also believes that he would not be instantly looking to the title, like many assume after his successes with BAR in 2004.
“We were runner up that year behind Ferrari, and everyone assumes I would be motivated to go back for the last push. That is not what motivates me at all.” Richards continued
“It will be a business decision. It will be a hard-headed business decision, not an emotive one when I make it.”
David Richards has plenty on his plate trying to keep Aston Martin, the luxury sportscar manufacturer afloat. They have experienced a sales slump of 45% in December 2008 compared to December 2007.
Top of the range models like the V12 Vanquish S have seen a big slow down in sales, but a member of the Stratstone Dealership network claimed on a TV Station that all models have been hit and this could lead to job losses and closures. Workers in the factories have had an extended Christmas holiday break as there is no work for them to do.
Aston Martin are no the only ones struggling though. Land Rover/Range Rover group, which experienced a renaissance in the new millenium has seen a sales slump of 55% on December 2008/2007 figures. Also, supercar manufacturer Ferrari are recieving so few orders for the 612 Scaglietti and 599 GTB Fiorano that they are on “Special Builds” only.