Mark Skaife has declared incoming manufacturer Volvo is not a replacement for Ford in the , with the V8 Supercars commissioner set to do everything he can to make sure the famous brand remains in the sport.
Speaking in the leadup to this week's V8 street race in Townsville, five-time championship winner Skaife said series mainstays Ford and Holden were vital for the sport's future and upstarts Nissan, Mercedes and now Volvo were not replacements for the old foes.
Ford's commitment to the sport remains unclear, with the Falcon set to be abandoned by 2017 in a move that leaves the six Ford-backed cars on the grid facing an uncertain future.
Only Ford Performance Racing (FPR) and Dick Johnson Racing (DJR) are using the Falcon this year.
"We are 100 per cent behind Ford and want them to be in the sport for a very long time,'' Skaife, who earlier this month announced the inclusion of Volvo on next year's grid, said, "Bringing the others into the sport is not seen as anyway as a replacement for them."
"At the moment they have six cars on the grid and whatever their decision is as to their Falcon replacement, we want that car to be on the grid moving forward.''
Skaife said the "Car of the Future'' platform could support a new model Ford, even if it was not as big as the Falcon.
With an industry shift towards smaller cars, Skaife said the category could support mid-sized Fords such as Mondeos or Fusions.
Some have even speculated that American-built Mustangs could be brought back to compete in the series.
"Absolutely. We can support the (Nissan) Altima and (Volvo) S60,'' Skaife said, "We can basically have the smallest of the mid-size range right through to a big Chrysler."
"It has the scope to take that extremity of car."
"For Ford, a lot of their future models will have no problem in fitting on our project blueprint `Car of the Future'.''
Despite talk of other manufacturers joining the series, the most talked about being BMW, Skaife said the category was happy with having five car companies on the grid for the 2014 series.
"I think the clever way to go about this now is to say we will have five manufacturers for 2014,'' Skaife said.
This writer travelled to Townsville courtesy of V8 Supercars.