"This difficult decision has been made in light of the quickly deteriorating operating environment facing the global auto industry, brought on by the sub-prime problem in the United States, the deepening credit crisis and the sudden contraction of the world economies," said Honda president Takeo Fukui.
"We will enter into consultation with the associates of Honda Racing F1 Team and its engine supplier Honda Racing Development regarding the future of the two companies. This will include offering the team for sale," he added.
Honda's somewhat shocking withdrawal from the F1 championship also leaves its two star drivers, Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello, without a team for the 2009, with only a few seats still available for the season.
Details of the likely deal are still in the works but it is reported that the money will come from a special $25 billion program that was initially intended to help the Big Three develop more energy efficient technologies instead of the $700 billion pool created to aid financial-industry companies. However, Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, said that the Big Three must repay this loan "within a matter of weeks."
The proposed $15 billion short-term loan is less than half the money that GM, Chrysler and Ford CEOs hoped to get when they arrived on Capitol Hill on Thursday for the two day hearing. The automakers were seeking $34 billion in aid. Detnews reported that General Motors said it needed $4 billion by the end of the year to make it until January as part of its request for $18 billion while Chrysler was asking for a $4 billion to stay afloat until the end of March. Ford, which appears to be in a better position that the other two automakers said it wanted access to a line of credit of up to $9 billion but only in the case if the economy worsens.
Photos Copyright: UP