FRANKFURT, July 14 (Reuters) - Volvo has bought Polestar Performance AB, a company that takes the classic Swedish cars and turns them into high-performance versions for the road.
Europe’s carmarkers are seeing more demand for modified versions of premium vehicles, countering a trend among manufacturers to withdraw six- and eight-cylinder engines from their fleets to meet stringent anti-emission rules.
No financial details of the deal announced by Volvo Cars were disclosed.
Polestar, which only works with Volvos, uses performance-enhancing software and tunes cars to increase mid-range engine performance by making changes to the gearbox and throttle response.
“Driving a Volvo Polestar is a special experience. We have decided to bring this experience to more Volvo drivers, placing the full resources of Volvo behind the development of Polestar as the model name for our high-performance cars,” said Hakan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars.
Polestar sales are forecast to increase to between 1,000 and 1,500 cars a year in the medium term under Volvo’s ownership. In 2014, Volvo’s worldwide sales totalled 465,866 cars.
Existing Polestar Performance employees will become Volvo employees, Volvo said in a statement.
Volvo and Polestar have been working in motor sport since 1996 and in recent years signed a cooperation agreement to develop Polestar versions of Volvo cars jointly.
Volvo said it has not acquired the Polestar racing team, which will remain under the control of Christian Dahl, the former owner of Polestar, and will be renamed.
Since 2010 Volvo cars has been owned by China’s Geely , which bought Volvo Cars from Ford. (Reporting by Edward Taylor; editing by David Clarke)