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Hopes for Volvo Polestar racing

Race on: Garry Rogers Racing runs two Volvo S60s in the Australian V8 Supercar series, but the contract with Volvo is set to expire at the end of next year.

Marketing plan might not spell the end of all Volvo racing after all

Volvo logo19 Feb 2015

By TIM NICHOLSON in BARCELONA

VOLVO’S Australian V8 Supercar team might continue racing beyond the expiry of its contract in 2016, despite the Swedish parent company’s decision to exit motorsport activities as a part of its latest marketing plan.

Last year’s Volvo Way To Market global strategic marketing plan appeared to spell the end of Volvo Car Group-supported racing, starting with the withdrawal from Swedish touring car racing.

Speaking with GoAuto at the international media drive of the XC90 in Spain this week, Volvo Cars Group product manager Lars Lagstrom said that while the marketing plan details a move away from racing, there could be an opportunity for it to continue.

“They say we are not going to be in racing, but we will see about that,” he said. “That will be arranged in other ways.

“Statements from the company from the marketing side is that we don’t do racing anymore. But I think there will be some racing we will see.”

Mr Lagstrom said that any future racing activity would need to be supported by national sales companies in different regions as opposed to being backed by the Volvo Cars Group parent company.

“It cannot be the centrally run things. It can be more the locally run things that support it and so on, depending on the market.

“I think that you have to wait and see what the local organisation does and how it interacts.”

Asked if Volvo Car Australia could continue in the V8 Supercar racing series beyond 2016 given the global marketing strategy, the company's marketing communications director Oliver Peagam said the company would consider its options closer to the end of the contract.

“We have got two years to go on that,” he said. “When that comes towards the end of the contract, as we do with every contract, we will look at it and evaluate it and make a decision on the back of it.”

Volvo’s official factory outfit Polestar Racing runs entries through the Valvoline Racing GRM team in Australia’s V8 Supercar championship under a contract that is set to expire at the end of 2016. Valvoline Racing GRM team owner Garry Rogers told GoAuto in December that Volvo had not contacted him about ending its motorsport involvement, adding that the plan was to continue under the existing contract.

“I’ve read all the activity that you see there but as far as GRM is concerned we’re in a contracted situation to build and race cars and win with them, and that’s exactly what we’re doing and will continue to do so,” he said.

“We’ve got an ongoing contract with them for that bit of time and other matters.”

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