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Mitsubishi Withdrawel: Sven Quandt - "This was a political decision".

Mitsubishi doesn’t have a good time in term of finances - so after an incredible series of success and after putting some slur on its reputation as ’mother of Dakar’ when fighting against the more experienced Volkswagen and BMW teams with a brand new diesel car. But is the financial situation the real reason and the ‘brand of the diamonds’ is only another name to add to the list of the Japanese companies which had to quit motorsports (Honda from Formula 1, Suzuki and Subaru from WRC, Yamaha from motorcycling), or is there something more in the background?

Like always in such moments, rumours are emerging - and we can’t stand not taking our share. Because things are often not what they seem to be. Remember the cancellation of the Dakar in 2008, which is reasoned until today with ‘terror warning’ that even makes sense - at least indirectly. But the most likely real, but rarely officially confirmed reasons are much more the quarrels between the Mauritanian and the French government - about weapon deals, power and money (US military project Africom, the Mauritanian government, and French and Spanish journalists who did some research off their own bat reported this independently). What is for real, what is not?

Insiders suspect more behind the withdrawal of Mitsubishi. Either the situation is really so bad that they ‘shut down’ the only real advertising source - or is there something else in the background?

As always, those in the ‘most inward circles’ hope that the decision of the Mitsubishi is not yet final. In an interview with the Braunschweiger Zeitung, X-Raid team boss Sven Quandt spoke about the withdrawal. Quandt himself took part in the Dakar seven times, contributed to the establishment of the Mitsubishi factory team and was even its team director for a while. "The last word is not yet said" thinks Quandt, "but if VW also quits cross country rally sport, it can be worse." As for the withdrawal of Mitsubishi, Quandt’s opinion is that "This was a political decision."

X-Raid and Quandt is not affected by the withdrawal of the Mitsubishi as they follow a completely different business model. X-Raid build vehicles to rent it to clients. The best of them was at the Dakar the Russian partner team Novitsky/Tyupenkin who finished in 8th place overall. For Quandt one thing is sure: "It’s no question, we’ll be there again next year!"

2009/02/17 | 01:52 CET | Editor: MR/HS/RK | Source: Braunschweiger Zeitung

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