Mitsubishi's long time independent tuning firm Ralliart will cease operations at the end of March.
The group has been associated with both factory-endorsed and aftermarket Mitsubishi products since 1984, but took a severe economic hit during the GFC.
Ralliart says that it can no longer afford to support its motorsport customers or develop new products. It remains unclear what impact this decision will have on official Ralliart-badged Mitsubishi products such as the high-performance Ralliart versions of the Lancer sold here in Australia.
Posted below is a statement from Ralliart Inc. president, Mr Masao Taguchi:
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 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, 2010Masao Taguchi
- Support to motorsport customers(Support to the participation, Technical Support, and Awarding of Mitsubishi/Ralliart Driver of the Year)
- New Planning, Development and Merchandize of Ralliart products (Except FIA VO parts) :*1
- Information of new products and dispatching motorsport information(at web):*2
CarAdvice spoke with Ms Lenore Fletcher, Mitsubishi Motors Australia Head of Corporate Communications this afternoon, who gave the following statement concerning warranty and supply of Ralliart improved vehicles in Australia:
"We don’t actually see that it’s going to change any of the way that we’re able to look after our customers,"I think what it will mean is that there will probably be some changes in the supply channel in terms of the business model that we currently have, but we don’t see that it’s going to make any changes to the way our customers will be able to receive their requirements from us,"The vehicles, clearly Evo and Ralliart vehicles, were already MMC vehicles anyway that were developed by MMC in conjunction with Ralliart ... it wasn’t Ralliart who had to have the warranties on the vehicles, it was us I understand,"(But) apparently it’s business as usual."