Suzuki Motor Corporation has decided to pull out of the 2009 FIA World Rally Championship after citing the global financial crisis affecting sales severely. The pullout announcement came, 10 days after Honda, another major Japanese car manufacturer, retired its Formula One team next year.
Suzuki said in a statement: “In responding to the contraction of the automotive sales caused by recent global economic turmoil, Suzuki has been promptly taking possible countermeasures.”
“To secure its own business environment for tomorrow, the organization reviews every aspect of the operations and decided to focus on the core business functions such as the manufacturing system, environment technologies, and development of new-generation powertrains. As a result, Suzuki concluded to suspend the WRC activities from 2009.”
Suzuki had entered two SX4 WRCs in the 2008 WRC and finished fifth of six teams in the constructors championship. Suzuki were 12th and 13th in the standings. Honda pulled out of F1 on Dec 5, a day after announcing job cuts in Britain and Japan, as well as reducing its annual production of consumer cars.