Can the NASCAR Next Gen Cars Bring Back Former Car Manufacturers in the Future?

Published 05/18/2021, 7:17 AM EDT
HOMESTEAD, FLORIDA – JANUARY 15: Erik Jones tests the Next Gen car at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)


For a long time, Ford, Toyota, and Chevrolet have dominated the NASCAR scene. However, there have been occasions where other manufacturers tried out their luck in stock car racing, which usually coincides with introduction of new regulations. Recently, the sport introduced the Next Gen cars and they will be in operation from 2022 onwards.

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However, this does beg the question, what next for the sport? Will Ford, Toyota, and Chevrolet stick around, or will some other manufacturers join the party?

Typically, when there is a massive technical rules overhaul and a next-gen car introduced, rumors of new manufacturers knocking on the doors are inevitable. It happened in Formula E, with the Big 4 German car manufacturers in the electric racing series.

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So, which manufacturers would garner some interest in stock car racing?

Which other manufacturers should make a foray into NASCAR?

One viable option is Nissan, as the Japanese giant is one of the largest automobile manufacturers in the world. To make matters even better, they have a massive market in the United States, with around 1.5 million cars sold per year.

At the same time, it would be great to see them compete with Ford, Chevy, and Japanese rival Toyota. From a pure marketing perspective, the Camping World Truck Series could be a prospective category to enter. This is largely because of the Nissan Titan, which would get a lot of exposure. Another option would be to field the Altima or Maxima in the XFINITY and Cup arenas.

Staying with foreign brands, Volkswagen is also another juicy option. This isn’t the first time European manufacturers have raced in NASCAR, as Jaguar grabbed NASCAR’s first road course race in 1954. Here is where Volkswagen could step in, and they desperately need the PR boost after the Dieselgate saga in 2016. If Volkswagen were to enter NASCAR, the company could field the Passat sedan.

May 2, 2021; Kansas City, Kansas, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Busch (18) leads a pack of cars at Kansas Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sportst gen

A little closer to home is the General Motors company. Already, they have a strong presence in the form of Chevrolet, though they would not be opposed to multiple manufacturers. Over here, General Motors could rope in Buick as a logical choice. If Buick did enter, they could share chassis, engines, and R&D with Chevrolet. In other words, there would be no extra expenses for GM.

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Finally, there is Dodge, who left the sport after the 2012 season. The American giants admitted a few years ago that they were looking to return to the sport. However, the chances are that Dodge may have to start from scratch. It would also be a popular move, as Dodge is an American icon, so it would be fitting to see it return.

Do you think there’s any other company that could step onto the NASCAR scene? Let us know!

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Dhruv George

11629 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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