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V8 Supercars fuel Volvo car sales boost

Scott McLaughlin took a chequered flag at the V8 Supercars meeting in Perth last month.

The "win on Sunday, sell on Monday" mantra has proven true for Volvo and more than validates the Swedish maker's decision to race V8 Supercars.

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Volvo Australia boss Matt Braid says a 60 per cent rise in sales of the S60 sedan are directly attributable to the team's V8 success. "Since the weekend of Clipsal (the first V8 race on the calendar, in March) our inquiries have probably doubled," Braid says.

That hasn't translated across the entire Volvo range and Braid says the company still needs to educate the public about its sedan, wagon and hatch line-ups. "We know when it comes to a family buying an SUV we're definitely on the shopping list. We're not with our sedans." 

Referring to Volvo's conservative history, he says: "We're the last market globally to get rid of the view of the hat on the parcel shelf." Braid says building sales of the V40 hatch will be a priority but it won't involve price cuts. 

"The segment's booming so we've got to be a bit more aggressive with that car. "We're a luxury brand, so we need to push the luxury potential of the brand, push the technology, push the performance aspects." 

The mix of technology and performance will be highlighted by the arrival of the new XC90 large SUV next year. Braid says the vehicle will use four-cylinder engines. The performance flagship for the range will be a plug-in hybrid.

"You'll definitely see (the plug-in as a premium vehicle). It won't be priced in line with the other cars. We're still at the tentative stage of exactly what that entails from a price point and also what equipment and technology it will have versus others," he says.

"People aren't necessarily going to look at hybrid technologies purely as being green. It's going to be, ‘How can I maximise efficiency and performance out of a given vehicle platform?'"