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Toyota splits from manufacturers' group 15 Aug 2006

Jarno Trulli (ITA) Toyota TF106.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race, Budapest, Hungary, 6 August 2006

Toyota announced on Monday that it is to leave the GPMA (Grand Prix Manufacturers Association), as it believes the body has now achieved its initial goals in relation to the future of Formula One racing.

Along with Honda, Renault, DaimlerChrysler and BMW, Toyota was one of the five founding members of the association, set up to represent the interests of the major car manufacturers within the sport.

The Japanese company said it felt the GPMA’s activities had moved away from its initial goal of protecting Formula One racing as the forerunner of technological innovation, and was now focused more on operational details. It has therefore chosen to step down “to avoid inhibiting activities which the majority of other members may wish to pursue”.

However, Toyota said it would remain open to dialogue and cooperation with its fellow manufacturers in the future and, should the overall situation change, would consider rejoining the GPMA.

For its part, the GPMA said it respected Toyota’s decision and thanked the company for “the support and dedication it has shown to the other manufacturers and the sport”. It also said it would continue to cooperate with Toyota and welcomed the prospect of them becoming a GPMA member again
in the future.