Ford has reaffirmed its commitment to the World Rally Championship, following the withdrawals of Subaru and Suzuki in the last two days.
Ford and Citroen are now the only two manufacturers left in the championship, but Ford believes the WRC still provides good value for a manufacturer's investment, despite the current financial crisis.
A statement released by the manufacturer today said: "We are naturally disappointed to learn of the withdrawal of both Japanese manufacturers, Suzuki and Subaru, from the FIA World Rally Championship.
"Ford announced during Rally GB earlier this month that we will participate in 2009 and we look forward to renewing our challenge with the Ford Focus RS WRC for both the manufacturers' and drivers' championships.
"We will retain our exciting and dynamic young driver line-up of Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala, who have benefited from another year's experience and maturity, supported by one of the most enthusiastic and hard-working teams in motorsport at M-Sport - which we believe will again make us highly competitive in 2009.
"Involvement in the WRC benefits Ford in various ways. It provides a big impetus to our product reputation and sales, especially for the Focus. For Ford to demonstrate our products in a successful way, on a global basis via television and the internet, through involvement in the World Rally Championship represents good value. The WRC continues to represent the pinnacle of our motorsport ladder of opportunity."