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Volvo's EV Brand Polestar Reports Record Q1 Sales, its New SUV Will Be Officially Unveiled in October

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【Summary】Electric performance brand Polestar, which is jointly operated by Volvo Cars and its parent company Geely in China, announced record sales in the first four months of 2022 along with a growing number of vehicle orders. Polestar credits its continued global expansion for the rising number of vehicle orders. The company also announced it will officially unveil the new Polestar 3 SUV in October, which will be built in the U.S.

Eric Walz    May 20, 2022 9:00 AM PT
Volvo's EV Brand Polestar Reports Record Q1 Sales, its New SUV Will Be Officially Unveiled in October
The Polestar 2 is recognized as the world's first vehicle to come with Google's new Android Automotive OS.

Electric performance brand Polestar, which is jointly operated by Volvo Cars and its parent company Geely in China, announced record sales in the first four months of 2022 along with a growing number of vehicle orders. Polestar credits its continued global expansion for the rising number of vehicle orders for the Polestar 2 EV, its first consumer model.

In the first four months of 2022, Polestar vehicle sales more than doubled to approximately 13,600 units. Customer reservations also more than tripled to nearly 23,000 compared to the same period in 2021.

Polestar increased its global presence to 23 markets so far, up from 19 at the end of 2021. The company's goal is to expand to 30 markets by the end of 2023. These new markets include the Middle East and Europe, where Polestar plans to expand to Spain and Portugal for the first time. Plans are also in place for Polestar to begin operations in Israel and Italy later this year.

"We promised growth and we are delivering on that promise," says Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO.

With the growing number of orders over the past several months, Polestar had expected to reach its target of 65,000 vehicle sales in 2022. However, the company warned that it's facing supply chain constraints that continue to challenge the rest of the global auto industry, which will likely affect its production and deliveries for the remainder of 2022.

Polestar says the prolonged government COVID-19 lockdowns in China during the first half of 2022 has disrupted vehicle production at its factory, where the Polestar 2 is manufactured. Therefore, Polestar has announced a reduction to the number of customer vehicle sales that it will be able to deliver in 2022 from 65,000 to approximately 50,000.

The reduction for 2022 is 100% attributable to the lockdowns in China, according to Polestar.

Polestar and its partners Volvo Cars and Geely, are continuously working to manage these ongoing supply chain disruptions. These plans include adding a second production shift at its factory in China to help recover some of the production losses. Polestar remains optimistic that the company will deliver its targeted sales volumes for 2023 through 2025. By 2025, Polestar's goal is to sell 290,000 vehicles a year.

"The fundamentals driving the growth in sales of electric cars remain in place and the momentum is stronger than the uncertainties we are witnessing right now. Any short- to medium-term economic effects have not dented our goal of selling 290,000 cars in 2025 – 10 times more than we sold in 2021," Ingenlath said.

Polestar will soon launch a new electric-performance SUV called the Polestar 3 that will compete with the Tesla Model Y, Ford Mustang Mach-E and other similar electric crossovers. The SUV and compact crossover segment remains widely popular with consumers, so the forthcoming Polestar 3 could become a big seller for Polestar.

The company unveiled a camouflaged teaser look of the Polestar 3 SUV at a media event in New York last December. The full reveal will be in October.

"We believe our future growth will be further accelerated by our entry into the lucrative SUV market later this year with the world premiere in October of the long-awaited Polestar 3 electric performance SUV," said Ingenlath. 

The Polestar 3 will also be built in the U.S. as well as in China. The EV will be built at Volvo's auto factory in Ridgeville, South Carolina. All of the Polestar 3 vehicles built in South Carolina will be sold in the U.S. market, the company said. The factory has the capacity to produce up to 150,000 cars annually.

"We will build in America for Americans," Ingenlath said at the media preview in New York. "Polestar 3 is planned to be launched in 2022 as a premium electric performance SUV that will define the look of SUVs in the electric age."

The automaker's Polestar 2 is also recognized as the world's first vehicle to come with Google's new Android Automotive OS embedded in the vehicle's infotainment system, which allows drivers and passengers to access popular Google services such as Maps, Play and Assistant without having to sync a smartphone. 

The Polestar 2 also runs a full-scale version of the Vivaldi web browser right from the vehicle's infotainment screen. The Vivaldi browser runs on Android Automotive OS and is the first web browser available for the platform.

In Nov 2021, Polestar teased the Polestar 5 sedan, which is based on the Precept concept unveiled in 2020. The company says it will be "an electric performance four-door grand touring car." The classification will make it competitor to the Mercedes-Benz EQS, Tesla Model S, and Lucid Air.

The Polestar 5 is expected to launch in 2024. The EV will showcase the brand's future vision in terms of design and technology, according to Polestar.

Polestar was established in 2017 as a new, standalone Swedish premium electric vehicle manufacturer. Founded by Volvo Cars and Geely Holding, Polestar has access to the technological and engineering synergies of Volvo Cars and benefits from significant economies of scale.

Like Tesla, Rivian and Lucid Motors, Polestar will not have a network of traditional dealerships to sell its vehicles. Instead the company is opening dozens of "Polestar Spaces", which will serve as retail showrooms for customers to experience Polestar vehicles in person and learn more about the features and technology. 

The Polestar Spaces will offer services such as home test drives, free pick-up and delivery servicing, and other conveniences for Polestar consumers.

Each Polestar Spaces will be staffed by knowledgeable product experts who can answer any questions customers have about the Polestar vehicles. Customers will also be able to place their vehicle orders at the locations.

Polestar CEO Ingenlath also told the audience he believes "there is a fundamental difference between Polestar and many other electric car companies." 

Polestar recently announced a global partnership with the car rental company Hertz to supply 65,000 vehicles over the next five years. The availability of Polestar vehicles from Hertz is expected to begin this Spring in Europe and late 2022 in North America.

Polestar will also soon be a public company. The company intends to list on the Nasdaq in a proposed business combination with blank check company Gores Guggenheim, Inc. The merger is expected to close in the first half of 2022 and will help Polestar raise capital from investors on Wall Street.

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