Volkswagen Motorsport India and South Africa have announced that the subsidiaries will continue with their respective local operations. The announcement comes days after Volkswagen Motorsport GmbH announced its decision to terminate all motorsport programs to focus on electric mobility. The company had said that the termination of all motorsport activities is a part of the company's "realignment and further focusing" on the electric vehicle segment. However, VW India and South Africa are some of the markets to continue with the planned motorsport operations that form a big part of the brand communication and marketing activities.
Responding to a query from carandbike, a statement from Volkswagen Passenger Cars, India read, "Volkswagen India will continue with its Motorsport program based on ICE vehicles in India. Due to the on-going pandemic, we have recently commenced our Virtual Racing Championship, the first virtual Motorsport championship in India, and are hoping to be back on track in 2021 with our one-make series. Volkswagen Motorsport India will continue in its endeavor to nurture and provide a dynamic platform for young budding talents across the nation."
Meanwhile, VW South Africa issued a statement saying, "Following the announcement earlier this week that Volkswagen Motorsport GmbH will cease its involvement in motorsport activities as part of the company's realignment and further focusing, Volkswagen South Africa confirms that it will continue with its local motorsport operations which include customer service and support including the Polo Cup and Supa Cup categories."
The announcement does come as a relief to the brand's Indian operations as well as its motorsport program. Volkswagen Motorsport India completely 10 years recently, a momentous occasion that marked the company's several one-make championships including the Polo Cup, Vento Cup, and the Ameo Cup. In 2020, Volkswagen Motorsport India was all set to revive the Polo Cup with an all-new car. However, the pandemic forced the carmaker to alter plans and introduce the Volkswagen Virtual Racing Championship (VW-VRC) instead, a first-of-its-kind digital one-make series. The championships have also been instrumental in scouting and supporting talent at a grassroots level.
The announcement also comes as a relief for the brand's customer program that sees Volkswagen Motorsport India build the rally-spec Polo for customers. This means, that the customers will continue to get factory support for spares and even manpower.