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Suzuki pulls out of World Rally

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Suzuki Motor Corporation has announced it is pulling out of the World Rally Championship due to the global economic turmoil just weeks after rival manufacturer Honda announced they were pulling out of Formula One for financial reasons.

The company only joined the championship in 2008 and despite several successful seasons in the junior category it has decided to put funds into "core business functions", including environmental technologies and development of new-generation powertrains.

A statement from 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 organisation reviews every aspect of the operation and decided to focus on the core business functions. As a result, Suzuki concluded to suspend WRC activities from 2009."

© Press Association 2008