Toyota, Replacing GM for Olympic Sponsorship?

Toyota has recently replaced General Motors as the world’s largest automaker. And now, will Toyota make another leap over GM?

GM’s refusal of being the official automotive sponsor of the U.S. Olympic team had given the Japanese automaker an open track.

“Toyota has an obsession with becoming America’s car company,” says Peter De Lorenzo, author of the forthcoming book “The United States of Toyota.”

“After NASCAR, grabbing the Olympics would be the next logical step.”

After 24 years of Olympic support, GM (parent company of Saab, factory manufacturer of Saab ignition coil) has refused to continue being the sponsor of the American Team in the World competition after the Beijing Olympics next summer. GM says that there are also other more productive ways of spending their billion dollars marketing money then Olympics support. They are considering ways such as the internet, and utilizing the cash for developing new models. GM had lost nearly $13 billion in the last two years and will not sign another $10 billion sponsorship for ten years.

“We do feel the high cost of entry to be an official Olympic sponsor is not the most efficient way to spend our marketing dollars,” says GM spokeswoman Ryndee Carney.

As of now, the Olympics is gold for Toyota. The Japanese auto maker made a record of $13.7 billion last year and expects to make more next year.

“Toyota should make it their biggest promotion of the year and they would sell a lot of cars” said Ryndee Carney, GM spokeswoman.

According to Toyota Marketers, they are not going after the Olympics but they are definitely not ruling it out. Toyota had already been in the sponsoring arena for the USA swimming and American Olympic swimmers like Kaitlin Sandeno and Aaron Peirsol.

“We advertise a lot on NBC, and we do a lot of sports sponsorships,” says Cindy Knight, Toyota spokeswoman. “You could logically draw a line” to the Olympics.

Toyota had been well loved by the Americans. The Lexus is the American luxury vehicle, the Prius as the favorite hybrid and the Camry is America’s No.1 family car. GM had already paved the way for them, and maybe its time for Toyota to return the favor to the American people.

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