tiger-enclave

Tiger Woods, seen introducing the 2008 Buick Enclave in late 2006, first joined forces with GM more than nine years ago. ((Chris Carlson/Associated Press) )

General Motors won't be entering a new endorsement deal with golfer Tiger Woods, ending a partnership of nearly a decade, the company announced Monday.

"Both GM and Woods agreed to a mutual and amicable separation that included a desire for more personal time for the 14-time major winner who is expecting his second child in late winter as well as the search for budget efficiencies during a difficult economy for General Motors," GM said in a statement. 

GM has used Woods as a spokesman for Buick and its OnStar communications devices since 1999. The renewal signed between the two parties in 2004 was reportedly for $40 million US, lapsing Dec. 31 of this year.

The move had been rumoured for a few weeks, with GM's vice-president for North American sales, Mark LaNeve, claiming the mutual decision is the result of discussions well ahead of its campaign, along with Ford and Chrysler, to seek billions in loans from Washington.

But it's clear GM is reconsidering its commitments to sports properties. The company indicated it won't advertise during the Super Bowl and it will reportedly scale back its NASCAR investment next year.

The automaker has also been involved in Olympic initiatives on both sides of the border.

GM Canada representative Stewart Low told the Vancouver Sun last week that the automaker's woes wouldn't adversely affect its commitment to the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee for the 2010 Games.

"We are hugely committed to the Olympics and will do everything in our power to continue on with that," Low told the newspaper.

GM's head office in Detroit ended its sponsorship of the U.S. Olympic Committee after the Summer Games in August in Beijing.