You only need look at brands such as Mercedes, Audi and BMW to see how important performance models are to premium carmakers. Historically, these created a so-called halo effect, bringing buyers to the brands, but increasingly, they are becoming a sales force in their own right.
AMG is leading the pack, selling almost 100,000 vehicles last year. That’s more than plenty of mainstream manufacturers. Meanwhile, Audi Sport and BMW M have recently announced new strategies and Jaguar Land Rover is fast ramping up its SVR offering.
It shouldn’t come as any surprise then that Polestar will become a standalone brand for Volvo. It’s savvy business. Volvo has been on an upwards trajectory for a few years now, with all its recent cars – the XC90, S90, V90 and new XC60 – being well-received. The XC40 will be revealed later this year, which seems set to become its biggest seller, and there are rumours of a smaller ‘20’ range too.