The dire economy continues to dominate the headlines, with Honda cancelling the 2009 Honda Hoot. The annual rally has run for 15 years, held in Knoxville, Tennessee and Asheville, North Carolina.
Honda has cited economic setbacks as the reason for other recent cut-backs, like its exit from the F1 and AMA Roadracing series. The following press release from the www.hondahoot.com officially announced the decision:
American Honda announced that the 2008 Honda Hoot will bring to a close 15 years of what has been one of the most successful motorcycle rallies in history. Over the years, almost a quarter of a million guests attended the Honda Hoot which was born in the hills of Ashville North Carolina and eventually moved to Knoxville, Tennessee. At the first event, a little over 3000 attendees enjoyed what would grow to become one of the largest rallies in North America.
The Hoot set new precedence for what a motorcycle rally should be, offering not only a wonderful opportunity to test ride new products but also focusing on family fun and growing the industry from the ground up. Based on the current economic crunch which may have significant impact on our customers during 2009, American Honda will take this time to seek out new and innovative ways to engage with our customers so that we can continue to ride together.
American Honda extends our deepest gratitude to the more than 1,300 volunteers who helped make the Honda Hoot a success and to all our event sponsors, to our two host cities, Knoxville, Tennessee and Asheville, North Carolina, and especially to all the good people who helped make the Hoot such a great event.