Yet another car manufacturer has withdrawn from premier motor racing, raising grave fears about the industry.

Yet another car manufacturer has withdrawn from premier motor racing, raising grave fears about the industry.

The exodus began with Honda, which cited the dramatic effect of the global financial crisis on sales of new cars for its shock decision to pull out of formula one.

Audi subsequently pulled out of the American Le Mans series, and Porsche also scaled back its involvement on the US scene.

Then, this week, Suzuki said it is leaving the world rally championship, and one day later fellow Japanese carmaker Subaru on Tuesday cited the world crisis for following suit.

The news leaves Citroen and Ford as the only manufacturer teams in the FIA-sanctioned series.

"Our investment is not as big as formula one. But it is still a sizable amount for our company, particularly as we see the real economy deteriorating," Ikuo Mori, president of the Subaru parent company Fuji Heavy Industries, said.

Toyota owns 17 per cent of Fuji Heavy Industries.