Mitsubishi & Marlboro split is 'mutual'

Mitsubishi Motors has stressed that the cessation of the Marlboro sponsorship of its World Rally Championship team will in no way affect its commitment to top-level motorsport. Mitsubishi says that the decision to part company [Sept 4] was taken mutually, both parties feeling that "the time had come." The Philip Morris cigarette brand has been the title sponsor of the Marlboro Mitsubishi Ralliart team in the since the start of the 1999 season

Mitsubishi & Marlboro split is 'mutual'

Commenting on yesterday's announcement, Ralliart chairman Andrew Cowan said: "Through the WRC team, Mitsubishi Motors and Marlboro have worked together very closely over the last four years and have enjoyed much success during that time. However, we now feel that the time has come to move on, and we wish them well for the future. This new direction will give us the possibility to build further direct awareness for our brand through motorsport, at a time when it is being revisited and revitalised."

During the 2002 Geneva Auto Show, Mitsubishi Motors CEO Rolf Eckrodt emphasized that motorsport was an essential component of the company's 'Brand & Corporate Turnaround' strategy.

Marlboro Mitsubishi Ralliart will continue business as usual for the remainder of the 2002 WRC, culminating with Rally GB over November 15-17.

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