We had a great conversation with Carl Wegner, Wegner Motorsports, the noted race engine builder based in Markesan, Wisconsin. We're happy to say that all race engine builders will be able to hear the conversation, and a lot more at the PRI Trade Show this year. We invited Carl to present a seminar on what it takes to be successful in this tough new economy (although we're not sure three years is new any more), and he agreed. Carl said he may bring along some friends so questions where someone else is more expert can be handed off to them to answer.
We talked over several topics, but the theme was the same: You can't just continue to do business the way you did back in 2006 or 2007. To borrow the phrase from the USMC, it's time to improvise, adapt, overcome.
As just one example, Carl mentioned that he had been ramping up his "Internet literacy," and the company was indeed finding new business as a result. Wegner Motorsports is taking on projects it never did before. It's selling parts in ways it never did before. And Carl wishes to share his experience in the event it might help other race engine builders rethink their businesses in a very constructive, positive way.
Another part of Carl's message is that the racing industry needs to find new ways to work together to make things happen for all of us. At some point, for example, we should all be in the business of promoting and selling tickets to races. Race teams should ally with race track owners. Race engine builders should not always look upon each other only as competitors.
We're slotting Carl into our seminar program, from 8 to 9 a.m., Friday, December 2. We think it's going to be a great opportunity to review a race engine business in a changing world...something that just has to be done every once in a while to remain current and profitable.
It's going to be interesting.