Just weeks after debuting its new diesel racing Lancer in the 2009 Dakar Rally in South America, Mitsubishi has pulled the plug on the program. In a terse statement (available after the jump) the company blamed the declining economic situation for its withdrawal from cross country rallying. Over the years, Mitsubishi has entered the Dakar 26 times, claiming 12 overall victories. The new diesel Lancer that debuted this year didn't have the same degree of success however, with a best finish of seventh overall.
Mitsubishi Motors to withdraw from Dakar Rally
TOKYO, February 4, 2009 - Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) announced today their decision to withdraw from Cross Country Rallying, starting with the legendary Dakar Rally.
In its 26 entries in this event, Mitsubishi Motors won the rally a total of 12 times, including seven consecutive victories. In addition to this unparalleled record the company also gained 4WD technology that informs its production vehicles, most visible in their durability and off road performance.
The sudden deterioration of the global economy made it necessary for the company to focus its resources more tightly, leading to today's announcement.