Suzuki quits World Rally Championship: Suzuki quits WRC
Japanese manufacturer suspends participation in world rallying
Suzuki is the latest manufacturer to drop motorsport duties due to the crashing car sales market. Just over a week after Honda dramatically dropped its Formula 1 participation, the Swift Sport manufacturer has suspended its World Rally Championship team after just one full season.
It campaigned two Suzuki SX4 WRCs after upgrading to the main world stage from Junior WRC. The company will carry on to back JWRC, though, as well as the Suzuki Swift Sport Cup that our Henry took part in this year.
In its 2008 WRC season, Suzuki finished fifth in the manufacturers’ standings. Here is the company’s statement in full:
“Suzuki Motor Corporation has decided to suspend the FIA World Rally Championship activities from 2009. The company made the 2008 season entry with two SX4 WRCs.
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 started to participate in the Junior World Rally Championship (JWRC) in 2002 with Ignis Super 1600 and achieved the driver’s victories two times in the history. Afterwards, the company moved up to the WRC field in 2008. The entry to JWRC and WRC brought a great deal of positive effects on the product development and marketing activities, nurturing the high sporty automotive brand image, especially in Europe.
Suzuki will continue to support the customers who are participating in the JWRC, and local motor sport such as Swift Cup with Swift Super 1600 machines in Europe and the rest of the world.
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 JWRC and WRC activities.”