Mitsubishi's performance subsidiary Ralliart, responsible for supporting the company's past WRC and Dakar efforts, will wind down operations this month. With poor sales they've decided to kill the arm of the company helping make fast cars faster. UPDATE.
In a letter to customers of Ralliart company President Masao Taguchi said:
Partial Cease of Business Activities along with Ralliart Inc's Business Scale Down
Ralliart Inc (President Masao Taguchi) has announced as follows.
Dear all of our customers ,
First of all, we much appreciate for your usual patronage to our company.
Our company have done the various activities relating motorsport with the support of many people since the establishment in April,1984 so far. However, because of the sudden change of economy situation since the year before last, the business circumstance surrounding our company radically became worse and so, this time we have reached the conclusion that we Ralliart Inc., would scale down our business activities as of the end of March 2010.
Along with the scale down of our business activities this time, we would cease the following business and operation which we have done so far. We would like to express our sincere apology to all of customers though we would make you much inconveniences.
Meanwhile, we wish you a continuous support to Ralliart family and entrants driving Mitsubishi cars who play an active part all over the world.
Items which would cease our business and operation along with our business scale down;
1. Support to motorsport customers(Support to the participation, Technical Support, and Awarding of Mitsubishi/Ralliart Driver of the Year)
2. New Planning, Development and Merchandize of Ralliart products (Except FIA VO parts) :*1
3. Information of new products and dispatching motorsport information(at web):*2
*1 FIA VO parts development and those application work shall be done by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation as it is.
*2 FIA Group-N information shall be open at the web site of Mitsubishi Motors Corporation.
Date of the cease: 1st April, 2010
It sounds like they're getting rid of nearly everything making Ralliart relevant or important, which means it's all but shuttered even if they aren't saying so. Any necessary operations will be sent to Mitsubishi, including support of rally efforts.
This doesn't impact production of the Evo or Lancer other than a possible name change for the Lancer Ralliart. It makes us wonder what there's to like about a company that just builds beige crossovers and electric cars.
UPDATE: According to Mitsubishi Spokesman Mo Durand this won't affect any vehicles within the United States or, in theory, any vehicles carrying the Ralliart brand as the company owns all the proper licensing rights. Since Mitsubishi has mostly withdrawn from motorsports this primarily impacts aftermarket parts.
[Yomiuri Shimbun (translated)]
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