15 Dec 08
The Suzuki Motor Corporation has decided to suspend its FIA World Rally Championship activities from 2009.
The announcement was made today - the deadline by which manufacturers have to register their entries with the FIA for the 2009 season.
A statement issued by the Japanese firm read: “In responding to the contraction of the automotive sales caused by recent global economic turmoil, Suzuki has been promptly taking possible countermeasures including the reassessment of its global production output.
“The company, however, foresees the shrinking trend in longer periods of time rather than a short-term phenomenon. 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’s involvement in the World Championship Rallying began in the Junior World Rally Championship (J-WRC) in 2002 with the Ignis Super 1600. After winning the title with P-G Andersson in 2004 and 2007 the company moved up to the WRC level with the SX4 WRC in 2008, achieving its best result - fifth - on the last two rallies of the year.
The manufactures says that it’s participation at J-WRC and WRC level brought “a great deal of positive effects on the product development and marketing activities, nurturing the high sporty automotive brand image, especially in Europe.”
Despite suspending its WRC activities, Suzuki will continue to support its customers who are participating in the J-WRC, and local motor sport such as Swift Cup with Swift Super 1600 machines in Europe and the rest of the world.
The statement ends “Suzuki expresses its great appreciation to sponsors and fans around the world for their strong support to its activities. The company will continue to provide valued products for its customers by utilizing the experiences earned through the J-WRC and WRC activities.”