LONDON: Volvo’s long-term future in V8 Super-car racing is in doubt as the company’s global marketing boss expressed the brand would pull out of motor sport.
The Swedish marque has been one of the revelations in its comeback season in local touring car racing this year, with Scott McLaughlin matching six-time champion Jamie Whincup for the number of pole positions in 2014, winning four races on his way to fifth place in the championship.
However, the Kiwi hotshot may have to make hay while the sun shines as Volvo’s global vice-president of marketing, Alain Visser, told Swedish media earlier this week that “motorsport does not conform with our brand” as it concentrates on reducing fuel consumption and improving safety on its road car division to the point where the company has made the bold claim that it will have a zero death toll for Volvo drivers by 2020.
Visser said the brand would relinquish its position in the Swedish touring car championship as soon as permitted by the contract it currently holds with racing partner, Polestar.
While that is due to expire at the end of 2015, Garry Rogers Motorsport which will run two V8-powered S60s for McLaughlin and new teammate David Wall in 2015 has an existing deal that runs through to the end of 2016.
Volvo Australia has indicated it will continue to back the V8 Super-car program for its duration.