Subaru World Rally team pilot Chris Atkinson, of Australia, and co-driver Stephane Prevot, of Belgium, compete on the first day of FIA’s WRC Mexico Rally on the outskirts of Leon, Mexico, Friday, Feb. 29, 2008.
After 19 years of dominating the rally circuit, Subaru announced today that it will be withdrawing from the FIA World Rally Championships after the 2008 season. In a statement release to the press, Subaru’s parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries, explained that the decision to sit out the 2009 rally season was a direct response to the crumbling global economy. “In order to optimize the management resources and to strengthen further the Subaru brand, FHI decided to withdraw from WRC activities at the earliest timing.” Offering elaboration on the subject, FHI president Kyoji Takenaka pinned Subaru’s withdrawal directly on the automotive industry crisis currently festering in the United States. “We will not contest the 2009 FIA World Rally championship due to the pressures of the global economic crisis that spread from the U.S. financial crisis that began this Autumn.”
Continued Takenaka, “The automotive industry worldwide…have been hit hugely…Our company included, our business environment has been dramatically changed due to the quick deterioration of the global economy.” Added Takenaka off the record, “But not to make you feel guilty or anything…”
Source: International Herald Tribune
Image Cred: AP Photo by Guillermo Arias