Roger Penske is on the move again
Why the move and why now? Penske was the lone dog at Chrysler, which was good and bad. He had the complete focus of the company and received all of its financial and technical support. But there was nothing to compare his team with. Penske said he needed a benchmark. Penske’s contract was up for renewal at the end of the year and not only wasn’t Dodge ready to make a long term commitment to Penske, it gave no indication of growing its NASCAR program. And with the new cars coming for 2013 already under development, Penske figured the sooner he let everyone know of his plans, the better. That’s Penske, never one to burn his bridges.
And then there's Penske's automotive empire. His dealership group operates more than 150 dealerships, but only a handful of Ford stores. Penske owns the world’s largest Toyota and Lexus dealerships and is close with Jim Farley, a former Toyota executive, who is now Ford’s group vice president for global marketing, sales and service.
So what becomes of Chrysler's NASCAR program? Chrysler’s first reaction was less than enthusiastic, noting its motorsports involvement isn’t limited to NASCAR and that the company “will be evaluating opportunities availability moving forward.”