Toyota to pull out of Formula-1 on economic woes

Toyota F1 team pricipal Tadashi Yamashina (L) wipes tears as he sits beside Toyota Motors President Akio Toyoda (R) during their press conference.AFP

Toyota has become the latest auto maker to pull out of the prestigious event, after rival Honda and German major BMW.

"... considering TMC's motor-sports activities next year and beyond from a comprehensive midterm viewpoint reflecting the current severe economic realities, TMC decided to withdraw from F1," the auto maker announced today.

The Japanese car maker would pullout of FIA Formula One World Championship at the end of 2009 season.
In recent times, the business of Toyota has been hit hard by the global financial turmoil and an appreciating yen.
Toyota made the start on Formula One in 2002 but never managed to win any grand prix.
The latest pullout would be yet another blow to Formula One, which is already bogged down by scandals, disputes and falling number of sponsorships.

In a statement, Toyota said drawing on its experience in Formula One and other motor sports, the entity plans to develop new vehicles like the Lexus 'LFA' supercar and compact rear-wheel-drive sports cars.
"TMC intends to do its best to find a solution for those parties who will be affected by any inconvenience this decision may cause," it added.

The company said it had viewed the participation Formula One racing, as contributing to the prosperity of automotive culture and even remained dedicated to the same despite worsening economic situation that began last year.
Toyota noted that it would actively contribute to further development of motor sports by supporting grassroots races and planning events in which it is easy for people to participate.

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