World Rally Championship promoter Simon Long believes Volkswagen's decision to come to the series is hugely important because of the manufacturer's close links to road car technology.
VW's executive director group marketing Luca de Meo said the accessibility of the WRC was one of the primary reasons the decision was taken to commit budget to a Polo R World Rally Car until the end of 2015.
"Rally is real, the people are accessible and people can identify with the cars they see competing on the stage," De Meo said. "These are the cars we sell and the drivers are the artists of driving."
He added that the WRC program was integral to Volkswagen's plans for the Polo.
"We have sold more than half a million, we want to make it the most successful small car in the world," said de Meo. "We produce the car in Europe, SA India, Russia and in Brazil. I make this point because in two years, the Polo is a global brand and the WRC is a global event and this is a very important reason why, from a marketing point of view, we supported this project."
Long added: "We talk all the time as a promoters about the authenticity and accessibility of the WRC and it's great to hear Volkswagen talk about that specifically as a reason for coming in.
"Volkswagen wouldn't be coming in if they hadn't done their research and they're buying into the ethos of winning on Sunday and selling on Monday and that's fantastic news for us; it's a ringing endorsement of what we're trying to achieve. The WRC is the place VW wants to be."