Volkswagen announced Tuesday it is ending all motorsport activities. The announcement comes just a year after the automaker committed to an electric motorport future, highlighting how quickly things are changing in the auto industry.
The automaker said it made the decision to place full focus on its goal of delivering sustainable electric mobility.
“The Volkswagen brand is on the way to becoming the leading provider for sustainable e-mobility,” Frank Welsch, VW's head of development, said in a statement. “To this end, we are pooling our strengths and have decided to terminate the Volkswagen brand’s own motorsport activities.”
Volkswagen Race Touareg 3
As a result of the decision, the current Volkswagen Motorsport division will be disbanded and its staff—169 in total—reassigned. Don't be surprised if many of the staff end up at fellow Volkswagen Group brands Audi and Porsche which still have major motorsport programs.
Audi only on Monday said it will enter the Dakar Rally in 2022, and is preparing an entry for the new LMDh (Le Mans Daytona hybrid) top category for the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and World Endurance Championship.
VW has a motorsport history dating back more than half a century, starting with the heyday of Formula Vee in the 1960s and '70s. The brand’s greatest achievements include three-consecutive Dakar Rally wins from 2009-2011 and four-consecutive World Rally Championship titles from 2013-2016. More recently, VW's motorsport squad has been building customer race cars based on the Polo and Golf, and demonstrating electric performance with the ID.R time-attack special.