Peugeot has announced that it is shutting down all endurance racing programmes for 2012 and will not be taking part in the next Le Mans 24 Hours.

Peugeot 908 HDi FAP at the 11th Auto Expo 2012

908 HDi FAP

Peugeot says the decision has been taken “against the backdrop of the challenging economic environment in Europe coupled with a particularly busy year for the Brand in terms of new vehicle launches“. Peugeot will deploy its resources towards ensuring the brand’s commercial success.

Peugeot has very important launches lined up for 2012, including the 208, 3008 HYbrid4, 508 RXH, 508 HYbrid4 and 4008. The company has said that they would like to concentrate on the successful launch of these products.

Peugeot has been the most promising competitor to Audi in the LM P1 category with 14 victories in the last 16 races, including a double at the Le Mans 24 Hours 2009 as part of the ILMC championship won by Peugeot two years running, in 2010 and 2011.

The 908 endurance prototype is the third in the line, after the 905 (1991 to 1993) and the 908 HDi FAP (2007 to 2010) pictured above. Development on the new 908 was started after the Le Mans victory in 2009, in preparation for new regulations in 2011. It is saddening to see Peugeot withdraw this year, having given the 908 just a little more than a year on the track.

We sure hope they come back in 2013.

In keeping with its social responsibility obligations and as part of the GPEC (forward management of jobs and skills) agreement, all of the employees concerned will be offered redeployment solutions within the Group thanks to a special system set up to oversee and lead occupational training/retraining as well as internal mobility.