Polestar, which started as an independent performance tuning business for Volvo cars, was later purchased outright by Volvo. Then, when Volvo itself was sold, Geely bought the passenger car business and the Polestar brand came with it. Geely, in turn, made Polestar the brand name for electric cars from Volvo.
The Polestar 1 is a high performance plug-in hybrid GT with a carbon fiber body and 619 horsepower. The Polestar 2 is the company’s first fully electric, high volume car sedan, and features 408 horsepower.
Next up is the Polestar 3, a battery electric SUV. For the North American market, that car will be manufactured at the Volvo Cars factory in Ridgeville, South Carolina. That facility currently produces the Volvo S60 sedan and the XC90, Volvo’s largest SUV. The company claims adding the Polestar 3 to the manufacturing mix will transform Polestar into a truly global brand with an industrial capacity in the two largest single markets for electric vehicles in the world — the US and China. Volvo currently has two factories in Sweden and three in China.
Sharp-eyed readers will notice that the Buy American emphasis for electric vehicles promoted by the Biden administration is having an effect on business decisions by several companies. Recently we reported on a story about BYD supplying 4 electric trolleys for the city of Walla Walla, Washington. In its press release, BYD went to great lengths to point out that its buses for the North American market are made by American workers using American parts in an American factory.
Volvo is also on board with the Buy American campaign. “Polestar 3 will be built in America, for our American customers,” says Thomas Ingenlath, COE of Polestar. “I remember the great response when I first shared Polestar’s vision here in the USA and I am proud that our first SUV will be manufactured in South Carolina. From now on, the USA is no longer an export market but a home market.”
Polestar is ramping up its marketing efforts in the US and will open about 25 retail Spaces — equivalent to a Tesla store — across America in 2021. Each Space will offer customer such conveniences as home test drives, free pick-up and delivery servicing, and mobile service for consumers in markets still awaiting the opening of a Polestar Space.
“Production in the USA reduces delivery times as well as the environmental impact associated with shipping vehicles around the world. It will even have a positive impact on the price of Polestar 3,” claims Dennis Nobelius, COO of Polestar. “All of this makes the brand even more competitive in the critical American sales market.”
The Polestar 3 will feature industry leading connectivity based on the Google Android Automotive OS infotainment system, as well as advanced autonomous driving features that focus on safety, which has long been the hallmark of Volvo cars. Production of Polestar 3 is expected to begin globally in 2022.
Pricing and performance details will be forthcoming as the Polestar 3 gets closer to production, but longtime Volvo customers know what to expect — safe, solidly built cars with every amenity known to the auto manufacturing world. Volvo cars offer a premium ownership experience at a premium price. For those of us who want to see the EV revolution pick up speed, having more offerings from Polestar is just what the doctor ordered.
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