It looks like Mitsubishi's Ralliart division is going out of business in Japan. I have extracted from their website the following news / announcement:
Partial Cease of Business Activities along with Ralliart Inc's
Business Scale Down
Ralliart Inc (President Masao Taguchi) has announced as follows.
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. Support to motorsport customers(Support to the participation, Technical Support, and Awarding of Mitsubishi/Ralliart Driver of the Year)
2. New Planning, Development and Merchandise of Ralliart products (Except FIA VO parts) :*1
3. Information of new products and dispatching motorsport information(at web):*2
*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, 2010
However since the announcement made on 10th March 2010, a United States auto website http://www.autoguide.com had met with Mitsubishi USA PR boss Maurice Durand, who stated that none of the changes will affect Ralliart products in the United States, or likely elsewhere in the world. Durand explained that the Ralliart subsidiary in Japan that makes high-performance and racing products for competition will close its doors, and that part of the company is separate from the rest.
It seems Mitsubishi licenses the Ralliart name to different companies in different markets around the world and while those markets that rely on the Japanese Ralliart products will now need to find a new supplier, in some markets the Ralliart products were already supplied by other outside tuning companies. This could mean that Ralliart in Singapore would need to find their own supplier for pedal covers, jackets, gearknobs, or whatever stuff they have in their shop right now if they are importing everything from Japan. Or they may just close shop too.
The global economic situation is making mince meat out of businesses and motorsports. Ralliart basically could no longer play a part in the current Mitsubishi business plan, as it used to be the division that handled most of Mitsubishi's motorsports. In 2005 Mitsubishi pulled out of the WRC and now they're pulling out of the Dakar rally. So what's left for Ralliart other than some Group N (Production WRC) business? Not much I presume as the current Lancer Evo is said to be too big and heavy for rallying. Whatever it is, this is sad news indeed.
- a PWRC Evolution X