With numerous automakers joining the growing V8 Supercars racing series in Australia, Jaguar has made it clear it won't get involved.
With the popularity of Australia's V8 Supercars racing series growing -- and new rules that allow more types of cars to compete -- automakers are piling on for a piece of the action the publicity that goes along with it. But at least one car company is more than a little skeptical about the benefits of getting involved.
In a recent interview with Motoring, David Blackhall, Jaguar's Managing Director for Asia Pacific, said he thinks other carmakers are "insane" for getting involved with the racing series. Initially dominated by Ford Falcons and Holden Commodores, the competition was opened to more brands when regulations were tweaked earlier this year. Nissan was the first to jump in, entering its new Altima into the competition.
In recent weeks, Volvo announced it would invest $6 million to enter two S60 Polestar sedans in the championship, with support from Garry Rogers Motorsport. Also entering the fray is Mercedes, with three Mercedes-Benz E63 AMGs slated to compete with the help of Erebus Racing.
With the lineup of vehicles becoming increasingly premium, two racing teams approached Jaguar about joining the series.
"We have been approached by two teams," said Blackhall. "We took a look at the economics and the demographics, and we briefly discussed it with Adrian [Hallmark]," Jaguar's global director. "But the business decision around that is frankly insane."
Jaguar isn't just skeptical about its own involvement in the series, Blackhall thinks Mercedes is making a mistake, too. "I don't know what it does for AMG to get flogged by a V8 Commodore week after week, but it's their brand, their issue," he said. "And the same thing will happen to Volvo to be honest."
"For us, the only bet is F1 if you really want to get media coverage on a global level."