Mitsubishi has announced that it is pulling out of all cross-country motorsport after the works team’s poor performance in the recent Dakar Rally, in which it finished 10th.
The company said the decision to withdraw is due to the decline in sales of new cars caused by the global economic downturn. Last year Mitsubishi had to cut production by 7.8 per cent, and sales in Japan have been on the slide since September 2007.
The company said it has to “focus its resources more tightly.”
Mitsubishi has entered the Dakar 26 times and won it 12 times, including seven consecutive victories.
The firm’s success in off-road racing and rallying helped to give the brand credibility, and established the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo as a true performance car and the Shogun as a tough off-roader.