German carmaker Volkswagen and stalwart of the World Rally Championship has confirmed this season will be its last, and it will pull its works cars out of the competition next year.
The company says it is part of a strategic shift to help overcome its emissions scandal, and that the brand is facing tremendous challenges as it pushes into zero-emissions technology.
Top executives and labour leaders are aiming to agree a cost-cutting plan and strategy
for the VW brand’s operations in Germany in time for a meeting of the carmaker’s
supervisory board on Nov. 18 to ratify future spending plans.
Europe’s biggest automaker is battling to recover from a scandal involving illegal software installed to mask toxic emissions on about 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide.
The scandal is set to cost it billions of dollars in compensation and vehicle refits.
VW and driver Sebastien Ogier have won the last four WRC constructor’s and driver’s titles.
RALLYTHEWORLD.com (@vwrallytheworld) 30 octobre 2016
The withdrawal follows VW’s luxury brand Audi’s decision to pull out of the WRC, the World Endurance championship, and the Le Mans 24-hour race to concentrate on the electric Formula E series.
VW says it will develop a new Polo rally car by 2018 for sale to teams in the WRC2, rallying’s second-tier competition, a Golf GTI for touring car competitions, and a Beetle for rallycross.