Ralliart, Mitsubishi Motors' motorsports arm, is scaling down its operations in Japan due to unfavorable economic conditions which have been hounding the company since 2008.
"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 end of March 2010," Ralliart president Masao Taguchi said in a letter posted on Ralliart's website.
The closure, however, is not expected to affect the sale of Ralliart-branded models in other countries. Ralliart cars will continue to be sold in countries like the United States, AutoGuide.com said in a report quoting Mitsubishi press relations officer Maurice Durand.
"While the demise is sad, this is a part of the economic reality. There just isn't much of a market for elite high-performance products, especially in Japan right now," Durand said in the report.
Mitsubishi Motors Philippines was also quick to assure clients that the availability of the Lancer EX Ralliart in the local market will not be affected by Ralliart Japan's closure. Mitsubishi Philippines just launched the Lancer EX Ralliart, which is on the cover of Top Gear Philippines' March issue.
"The scaling down of Ralliart operations is just on the merchandising side especially for soft goods like apparel. The merchandising of Ralliart parts and accessories will be transferred to Mitsubishi Motors Genuine Parts. Ralliart license and trademark of each country will continue," said Arlan Reyes, Mitsubishi Philippines assistant manager for advertising and promotions.
Here is the letter from Ralliart:
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