Jul 29, 2009 at 12:18 PM
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BMW Exits Formula One

BMW's effort to win a Formula One championship came to a sudden end on Wednesday after the German automaker said they will be ending their Formula One sponsorship at the end of this year.

The move comes after a Tuesday board meeting that apparently sealed the fate of the proposed new commercial agreement that would have committed BMW to Formula One through at least 2012.

Despite having a dismal year on the track, BMW officials cited a "strategic realignment" of business priorities as the reason for the decision.

"“Of course, this was a difficult decision for us,” explained Dr. Norbert Reithofer, the chairman of the BMW board. “But it’s a resolute step in view of our company's strategic realignment. Premium will increasingly be defined in terms of sustainability and environmental compatibility. This is an area in which we want to remain in the lead. Our Formula One campaign is thus less a key promoter for us."

Last December, prominent automaker, Honda, also quit F-1 citing tough business conditions.

Four manufacturers now remain in Formula One: Ferrari, Mercedes, Renault and Toyota.