17 Dec 2008

Subaru pulls out of world rally championship

2:56 pm on 17 December 2008

Japanese car maker Subaru withdrew from the world rally championship on Tuesday because of the global economic crisis.

Subaru's abrupt exit completes a trio of Japanese car manufacturers stepping off the world motorsport stage in the past two weeks.

Owner Fuji Heavy Industries made the announcement a day after fellow Japanese automaker Suzuki Motor Corp said it was pulling out.

"Our business environment has changed dramatically due to the rapid deterioration of the global economy," Fuji Heavy Industries chief executive Ikuo Mori said in Tokyo.

Car makers all over the world are under severe pressure to find ways to reduce spending as a sudden downturn in global car demand knocks profitability.

Honda pulled out of the Formula One world championship on 12 December, citing the global financial crisis.