In a recent article in the Swedish financial newspaper Dagens Industri, Volvo’s director of marketing, Alain Visser announced that Volvo will be pulling out of motor sports as soon as their contracts allows them to and cutting back on their presence during the 2015 Auto Show season.
Volvo’s new image and priority is all about small, turbo-charged engines and safety. This means that performance and motor sports no longer have a home in Volvo’s marketing agenda. Currently, Volvo’s contract in the STCC (Scandinavian Touring Car Championship) runs till the end of the 2015 racing season. Also, their Australian V8 Supercar series contract does not expire till the end of the 2016 racing season. So, this means that the fans of the Rebel Blue painted race cars still have at least one or two more years to cheer them towards victories.
So, will the motor sports industry be affected as Volvo withdraws its race cars from two of the most popular road-racing series in the world? Well, no, because Volvo does not directly take part in these events. Volvo’s racing partner Polestar fields entries on their behalf. In the recent announcement about Volvo’s plans, nothing was mentioned about the team at Polestar. This means that Polestar will decide the future of Volvo in motor sports after the 2016 season and beyond.
In the article, Alain Visser also mentioned that Volvo will not take part in majority of the 2015 Auto Shows. But, he did mention that Volvo will be attending the 2015 Detroit, Geneva and Beijing Auto Show as Volvo is currently owned by the Chinese company Geely. The reason behind this drastic cut in the amount of auto show presence is because Volvo’s marketing department wants to focus its efforts and especially its money on developing a strong online presence.
We will admit that it will be a sad day when Volvo’s Rebel Blue race cars stop tearing up the racetracks in Sweden and Australia, but Volvo has established a long and strong presence in motor sports and who knows, the board members at Geely might reconsider this decision and Volvo could return to motor sports with its new line of turbocharged inline four and V6 engines.
As for the cut back in the amount of auto show presence, we will not the full repercussion of this decision until the 2015 sales reports come in. But, considering that they will be focusing more of their efforts on developing a strong online presence, it still might be able to attract a new generation of consumers who are more online oriented than the traditional consumers, who would rather experience the vehicle lineup in person during the auto show.
Information sourced from CAR and DRIVER and Volvo Cars US. Images sourced from caradvise.com.au.