Volvo-owned Polestar has announced that its upcoming “performance SUV” will be manufactured within the United States, starting late in 2022. The model will be assembled alongside other Volvo products at the Swedish company’s facility in South Carolina. It also provides an opportunity for Chinese parent Zhejiang Geely Holdings to make meaningful moves on the North American marketplace and less ammunition for critics to reference the EV-focused Polestar as a foreign brand.
“Polestar 3 will be built in America, for our American customers,” said Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath. “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.”
Selecting the Polestar 3 makes sense. While crossover vehicles are now popular around the world, Western markets seem to be the hungriest for them and many manufacturers have decided that demand for electrified hatchbacks is about to peak. However, the brand wants everyone focused on its expanding footprint, specifically regarding how it will soon have production capacity in both the United States and China.
“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,” stated Polestar COO Dennis Nobelius. “All of this makes the brand even more competitive in the critical American sales market.”
The crossover is supposed to be midsize luxury electric with legitimate performance chops and room for five. Rumor has it that it will offer ranges in excess of 300 miles per charge and the kind of styling that targets European models. Assumed rivals include imports like the Audi E-Tron and Jaguar I-Pace.
Volvo Cars will invest $118 million in the South Carolina facility to build the Polestar 3 but there’s some question as to how much volume it’s to expect. EVs remain a niche segment with a market share below 2 percent. However, the model shares its SPA2 platform with the planned next-generation Volvo XC90, which is also supposed to commence U.S. assembly in 2022. Any Polestar 3 production shortfalls will likely be softened by presumably stable XC90 output. The facility also has yet to near its production capacity of 150,000 vehicles annually.
Polestar said it expects production to commence globally in 2022. Details will be issued sometime between then and now.