SUZUKI IS making drastic cutbacks in its 2009 race competition programme because it needs to find more than £150m in readies to buy back the final batch of Suzuki Motor Corp shares held by floundering US automotive giant General Motors.
The company has already made big reductions its existing US racing commitments - pulling out completely from dirt track, for example - and may not even field an official AMA Superbike team. Quite what effect further spending cuts may have on the big-budget Suzuki MotoGP campaign run by Paul Denning’s Crescent outfit from the UK is as yet unclear.
Apparently company chairman Osamu Suzuki decided to buy back the shareholding from GM because he didn’t want it flogged off at a distress price on the open market, dragging Suzuki’s overall share value down. And although Suzuki is a cash-rich company which doesn’t really need to borrow, helping to finance the purchase by cutting promotional and operational costs rather than doffing all the dosh out of revenue will have less effect on its full-year financial results.