BMW is realigning its motor sports activities, and is ending its participation in Formula One at the end of 2009. While it will remain active in motor sports, said Dr. Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, it will focus on close-to-production motor sports.
In line with our Strategy Number ONE, we are continually reviewing all projects and initiatives to check them for future viability and sustainability. We made this clear with the initial announcement of our Strategy Number ONE. And, naturally, this also includes motor sports...As our company places stronger focus on sustainability initiatives, our participation in Formula One becomes less a key promoter of this engagement.
Everyone knows that the BMW brand embodies sportiness with sheer driving pleasure. Sportiness and fair competition are firmly encoded in our DNA. This is why we will remain loyal to motor sports. But we will do this in series that enable us to transfer technology more directly and to realize additional synergies, while strengthening our brand values...The focus of the BMW Group will be towards sustainable development over the next years and decades to come.—Dr. Norbert Reithofer
In a press conference announcing the decision, Reithofer said that BMW will showcase a concept car as a “CO2 champion” at the upcoming IAA (Frankfurt Auto Show) in September to demonstrate “a whole new dimension of driving pleasure with regards to efficiency with performance.”
BMW had acquired the Swiss Sauber Formula One team in 2005. Honda had pulled out of Formula One at the end of 2008. (Earlier post.)