Honda seems to be canceling events left and right amidst the gloomy economic conditions, first announcing it was leaving Formula 1 and following that shocker up by dropping from AMA road racing competition. The latest event chopped from Honda's 2009 calendar is the Honda Hoot, a large motorcycle rally that's normally scheduled to take place late in June. Honda blames the cancellation on "economic uncertainty." Each year, thousands of riders flocked to Knoxville, TN, with last year marking the fifteenth annual running. Obviously, Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam is disappointed that the 16,000 tourists who crashed his town in '08 won't be dropping by next year, but the reality is that both the city and Honda may have expected a smaller turnout next year anyway, and the the motorcycle maker just doesn't have the funds available to put on a good show. The full statement has been pasted after the break.
Honda Hoot 2009 Canceled Due to Economic Uncertainty
Torrance, CA: American Honda announced today that the 2008 Honda Hoot will bring to a close 15 years of what has been one of the most successful motorcycle rallies in history. Over the years, almost a quarter of a million guests attended the Honda Hoot which was born in the hills of Ashville North Carolina and eventually moved to Knoxville, Tennessee. At the first event, a little over 3000 attendees enjoyed what would grow to become one of the largest rallies in North America
The Hoot set new precedence for what a motorcycle rally should be, offering not only a wonderful opportunity to test ride new products but also focusing on family fun and growing the industry from the ground up. Based on the current economic crunch which may have significant impact on our customers during 2009, American Honda will take this time to seek out new and innovative ways to engage with our customers so that we can continue to ride together.
American Honda extends our deepest gratitude to the more than 1,300 volunteers who helped make the Honda Hoot a success and to all our event sponsors, to our two host cities, Knoxville, Tennessee and Asheville, North Carolina, and especially to all the good people who helped make the Hoot such a great event.