NAGOYA (Kyodo) Toyota Motor Corp. may stop hosting the Formula One Japanese Grand Prix auto race in the face of the auto industry depression, sources said Friday.
Toyota is considering the move as a way to reduce costs as it expects to fall deep into the red in fiscal 2009 for the second straight year, they said.
The annual Formula One race in Japan is held alternately between Fuji International Speedway and Suzuka International Racing Course.
Toyota purchased Fuji International Speedway Co. in 2000 and hosted the grand prix on Fuji speedway in 2007 after winning the right by renovating the race course at a cost of ¥20 billion.
The Suzuka circuit, affiliated with Honda Motor Co., is the venue for this year’s Japanese grand prix.
If Toyota decides to give up the 2010 grand prix, the Suzuka circuit may host it, the sources said.
Toyota will continue participating in Formula One racing itself, they added.
Japanese automakers have been forced to pull out of races due to the economic turmoil.
In December, Honda announced it is quitting Formula One racing to focus on its core business of making and selling cars. It also is pulling its motorcycle team out of the Suzuka 8 Hours World Endurance Championship Race.
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