Volvo announced recently that it will pull out of motorsport. However, the Swedish car manufacturer leaves the door open to opportunities like the FIA Formula E Championship. Alain Visser, Senior Vice President Marketing, Sales and Customer Service of Volvo, told the Swedish Auto Motor & Sport that he finds the all-electric racing series worth considering.
Visser believes that motorsport doesn’t suit the brand in the first place. “Look at Land Rover and Jaguar. Full premium brands that do not compete. Racing doesn’t suit our DNA. And why do as everyone else? We can get premium also without motorsport.”
He classifieds a major racing event like the 24 Hours of Le Mans as ‘dumb’. “It cost 20 million Euro to drive a car and you get press coverage for 24 hours. Then it’s quiet for a year! There are clearly better investment.”
However, Formula E is an area of interest. “In comparison to other motorsport series, it is much better value for money in Formula E,” he said. No decision regarding future participation has been taken. “But it’s definitely something that we look into. Audience figures and the press coverage is still quite limited but this is a motor racing concept which I absolutely believe it can grow.
“We follow the series very carefully and have done really deep analysis but haven’t taken a decision yet. When you have a limited budget to spend one must consider carefully where the money will be invested in.
“I rank Formula E as the most competitive motorsport series of right now. That’s all I can say.”
Visser ruled out a 2016 entry, as it would result in making a decision today to be prepared in time.
However, considering a participation in the series doesn’t mean it will happen any time soon. It is a no-brainer that other car manufacturers are looking at the same opportunities as they watch Formula E grow while evaluating their current motorsport programmes.
Formula E is currently a one make racing series, but opens up their regulations for manufacturers to improve or to develop the powertrain. Development of batteries are not included yet, but perhaps this will be a challenge for season three.
Have a look at Formula E’s provisional technical roadmap ElectricAutosport.com scooped in September.