How long will GM sponsor Test Track?

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elizabethswann
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Post by elizabethswann » Nov Wed 05, 2008 2:41 am

For now, it's a rumor as reported here though we don't know for sure.

http://www.disneyworldtrivia.com/forums ... rship.html

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Post by Future Guy » Nov Wed 05, 2008 8:33 am

If true, it really would not surprise me. They have no money, they're shockingly bad at coming up with products that people want to buy (remember the Pontiac Aztek?), and whatever profit they do make is pretty much consumed by the generous wage and benefit packages the auto workers' unions secure for their employees.

From a business perspective, they can't continue operating in their present form for much longer. Mark my words, if GM survives the next five years, they'll be a much smaller and poorer company.

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Post by agingerbugg » Nov Wed 05, 2008 8:46 am

It is true the contract ends sometime between 2007 and 2009 (depending on when the contract began: at TT original open date or TT actual open date). I guess we will just need to wait and see. I would assume that the contract will end next month, seeing as the unofficial open date is December 1998 and that sometime around Thanksgiving GM will make the announcement that they will no longer sponsor Test Track. I am sure Disney has someone else already lined up, as elizabethswann's link suggests Nissan is a very likely choice. They haven't been doing too well lately falling behind the other two big Japanese automakers in technology. Nissan might be a better sponsor for TT, because they are the company that promised in 2007 to provide the mass-produced non-internal combustion engine vehicle by 2012....Could Future World actually be returning to a look at the future?
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Post by DisBeamer » Nov Wed 05, 2008 7:29 pm

agingerbugg wrote:SSE only went a year without a sponsor. AT&T dropped in 2004 and Siemens picked it up in 2005. I don't know that it would change that much, mainly the exit area would be changed to reflect the new sponsor's products. I don't imagine the proving procedures for other auto manufacturers differ that much from GM's.
It's a lot easier to let the 'not right at the front of the parks' attractions close and/or sit empty without a sponsor, too. It'd be a pretty negative Welcome to Epcot to find out that 'the ball' was closed as soon as you walked in the park. If any attraction in Epcot was going to be allowed to survive on Disney's dime alone, I'd put my money on SSE.

As far as TT is concerned, the ride itself doesn't make all that much mention of GM anyway, right? I mean, it's in the preshow (easily re-filmed, and about time to re-film imo) but do they ever make mention of it in the attraction audio? I agree; it seems like it'd be pretty easy for another car company to pick it up with very minor changes.
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Post by Captain Schnemo » Nov Sun 16, 2008 7:15 pm

One of the original points of EPCOT was to highlight (and push) American corporate innovations. I suppose I don't have any philosophical objection to having the place sponsored by a company that actually makes decent cars people want to buy, but I'm curious as to whether or not this is even a consideration.

Come to think of it, if Test Track imploded like the Poltergeist house, I doubt I would do much other than wring my hands and giggle joyfully, but that's just me.

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Post by Future Guy » Nov Sun 16, 2008 11:19 pm

Captain Schnemo wrote:One of the original points of EPCOT was to highlight (and push) American corporate innovations.
Problem is, the American auto industry hasn't done any innovating in the last thirty years, unless you count writing the book on how to stay in business while making bad products that no one wants to buy.

Of course, there are some very innovative companies like Aptera, but they're way too small to afford an EPCOT sponsorship.

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Post by Captain Schnemo » Nov Mon 17, 2008 1:44 am

Future Guy wrote:Problem is, the American auto industry hasn't done any innovating in the last thirty years, unless you count writing the book on how to stay in business while making bad products that no one wants to buy.
And subverting progress at all costs. I don't have any pity for GM, the company, although what to do about the damage its collapse would cause is troubling.

Anyway, they've abandoned all the other founding principles of Epcot...I wonder if they'd even blink at this one. I wonder how many people have even noticed it.

I saw one of the things you wrote on the epcot82 blog, about how returning the icons and the font would be a trivially inexpensive good will gesture to us. My thought at the time was that it wouldn't even occur to Disney to try to pacify us and none of them would understand (or care) why it was a good idea in the first place.

Ah, yes, after a few months' break, it's all coming back to me...

As for innovative American car companies, don't forget Tesla Motors...I want one!

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Post by bamato » Nov Mon 17, 2008 9:12 am

Isn't the new Cars Land at DCA going to have something similar to test track? They are just using Mater for the theming. SO I don't see why they would build a similar ride if they were going to lose the sponsorship for one ya know?

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Post by Captain Schnemo » Nov Mon 17, 2008 5:24 pm

bamato wrote:SO I don't see why they would build a similar ride if they were going to lose the sponsorship for one ya know?
To save millions of dollars in R&D?

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Post by DisBeamer » Nov Mon 17, 2008 9:42 pm

If it's Cars themed, they probably wouldn't be after a sponsor for it. I'm probably overlooking something, but none of the rides based on or themed after Disney movies/properties are sponsored by external companies, are they? The only ones I can think of that are are the Epcot attractions and (formerly) Space Mountain. And the peoplemover. What else is sponsored? I'm sure there's other things...
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Post by Captain Schnemo » Nov Mon 17, 2008 11:39 pm

it's a small world was sponsored by Mattell a while ago.

And, of course, there were classics in the age of ticket books, when sponsorship was actually a gift to the customers.

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Post by DisBeamer » Nov Tue 18, 2008 8:36 pm

Oh yeah I forgot about that one. I think that still is, actually. And Tikis were done by Dole at one point, I think (may still be at DL? I dunno). Neither of those are movie-related or 'Disney Character' related, though. In the Disney Characters/Fab 5/movie sense. I was thinking of the Fantasyland dark rides and such, specifically.

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Post by 99Soulz » Mar Wed 04, 2009 9:34 am

Well, we knew this would probabaly happen sooner or later. Nothing definite yet, but doesn't look good:

http://www.wdwnewstoday.com/archives/2871

Possible scenarios:
1. GM and Disney come to a new agreement (not likely IMO)
2. GM pulls out and Disney forced to temporary close to remove all GM signage/voice-overs.
3. GM pulls out and Disney finds replacement sponsor which will temporary close for rebranding

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Post by Peerless83 » Mar Thu 19, 2009 6:34 am

Start getting used to seeing Smart car Test Track..or maybe Daewood (or however you spell it)...GM is going into bankrupcy..its a foregone conclusion..they might as well do it and get it over with...then they can come back and actually make decent cars!

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Post by WVParkfan » Mar Thu 19, 2009 6:51 am

Here's a recent article from the Orlando Sentinel

GM's last lap on Epcot's Test Track?

Jason Garcia | Sentinel Staff Writer
March 4, 2009

One of Walt Disney World's marquee sponsorship deals is in jeopardy.

Struggling U.S. auto giant General Motors Corp. is considering pulling out as sponsor of Test Track, the high-speed Epcot attraction among the most popular rides in all of Disney World.

A 10-year contract between Disney and GM expires this year. And GM, which lost $31billion last year and is relying on loans from the federal government to stay in business, may not be able to afford to renew the pact.

Read more at:

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/business ... 4081.story

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