Volvo, the last bastion of Swedenism in the automotive landscape, was holding the line in motorsports, with entries in the Swedish Touring Car Championship and Australian V8 Supercars. And now Volvo just said that they won't be continuing after the contracts run out, and they're pulling out of racing entirely.
Volvo's Marketing Director Alain Visser sounded pretty definitive about the whole thing, in an interview with Dagens Industri (via the Touring Car Times):
"Motorsport does not conform with our brand, where we stand for smaller engines and safety. We are therefore pulling out of STCC for example as soon as the contracts permits."
The pullout from racing comes hot on the heels of Volvo announcing major investments and restructuring, especially in its marketing budget. But with those new plans comes new initiatives, including the pullout from motorsport. Volvo's also planning on cutting back from every auto show save for three of them, and the incredibly gorgeous Coupe Concept is on hold.
But there may still be some hope for all the fans of Volvo race cars out there. Volvo is still on contract to race in STCC through 2015, and it's still on contract to be racing in V8 Supercars through 2016. And things can change by then. And further than that, Volvo's participation in V8 Supercars isn't entirely controlled by the team, as Polestar, its high-performance partner, and Garry Rogers Motorsport run the operations down there. So for the moment, those two groups are still evaluating options.
So the official word from Volvo sounds pretty final. But don't go spilling any aquavit just yet.
Photo credit: Getty Images