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Shares of Volvo's EV Brand Polestar to Begin Trading on the NASDAQ After Closing on its SPAC Deal With Gores Guggenheim

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【Summary】​Electric performance brand Polestar, which is jointly operated by Sweden’s Volvo Cars and its parent company Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding ("Geely"), has closed on its previously announced business combination with Gores Guggenheim, a special purpose acquisition company. As a result, the the automaker’s shares will begin trading on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol “PSNY” on June 24, 2022.

Eric Walz    Jun 23, 2022 8:30 AM PT
Shares of Volvo's EV Brand Polestar to Begin Trading on the NASDAQ After Closing on its SPAC Deal With Gores Guggenheim
The Polestar 2 was the world's first vehicle to come with Google's new Android Automotive OS.

Electric performance brand Polestar, which is jointly operated by Sweden's Volvo Cars and its parent company Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding ("Geely"), has closed on its previously announced business combination with Gores Guggenheim, a special purpose acquisition company ("SPAC") formed by affiliates of The Gores Group and Guggenheim Capital, LLC.

The combined company will retain the Polestar name and the automaker's shares will begin trading on the Nasdaq under the new ticker symbol "PSNY" on June 24, 2022. 

The Business Combination was approved at a special meeting of Gores Guggenheim, Inc. stockholders on June 22, 2022.

As a result of its business combination with Gores Guggenheim, Polestar has raised approximately $890 million. This amount includes approximately $640 million from Gores Guggenheim, as well as $250 million in proceeds from the PIPE completed in connection with the deal.

As a newly listed public company, Polestar aims to raise capital from investors on Wall Street pouring money into electric vehicle stocks like Tesla, which has become the world's most valuable automaker.

Although Polestar is a new EV brand, its backed by nearly 100 years of manufacturing experience from automakers Volvo and Geely.

"Listing on the Nasdaq is an incredibly proud moment for Polestar," said CEO Thomas Ingenlath. "We set out to create an outstanding new EV brand with the mission to accelerate the shift towards sustainable mobility. With 55,000 cars on the road today and global recognition as made evident by over 100 awards, we have built a strong foundation for future growth." 

Polestar will introduce two new electric SUVs by 2024. The first will be the Polestar 3, a full-size electric SUV, that will be unveiled in October. Production is slated for early 2023.

The Polestar 3 will be built at Volvo's factory in Ridgeville, South Carolina. The electric SUV will be a strong competitor to Tesla's Model Y and Ford's Mustang Mach-E in the premium electric segment.

The Polestar 3 will also feature connectivity features based on Android Automotive OS, as well as high-end, safety-focused autonomous driving features, the company said. It will offer autonomous highway driving powered by a centralized NVIDIA DRIVE processor with integrated LiDAR from Polestar's partner Luminar. It will be one of the world's first EV's equipped with lidar during production to support autonomous driving functions.

The Polestar 3 will also be a software-based vehicle capable of receiving regular over-the-air software updates, which was pioneered by Tesla.

The premium SUV market is one of the fastest growing segments in the U.S. auto industry and is expected to be one of the most rapid to adopt fully electric vehicles, according to Polestar. 

The Polestar 3 supports Polestar's plans to grow its EV sales by ten-fold from approximately 29,000 EVs in 2021 to approximately 290,000 by the end of 2025.

Like its rivals 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 serve as retail showrooms for customers to experience Polestar vehicles in person and learn more about their 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.

Polestar announced record Q1 sales in May. The company 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 global markets by the end of 2023. These new markets include the Middle East, Spain and Portugal. Plans are also in place for Polestar to begin operations in Israel and Italy later this year.

In April, car rental company Hertz announced that it will purchase up to 65,000 vehicles from Polestar over the next five years. 

Polestar's first mass market model was the Polestar 2 fastback. It's the world's first vehicle to come with Google's Android Automotive OS embedded in the infotainment system, allowing drivers and passengers to access popular Google services such as Maps, YouTube Music, Gmail 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.

The Polestar's first vehicle was the 609 horsepower Polestar 1, which was built between 2019 and 2021 as a low-volume electric performance hybrid GT with a carbon fiber body. It had an electric-only range of 124 km (WLTP), the longest of any hybrid car in the world at the time.

In May, Polestar's parent Volvo Cars announced a new strategic partnership and investment in Israel-based battery startup StoreDot, a developer of extremely fast charging technology for electric vehicle batteries. StoreDot aims to produce batteries for EVs capable of charging up to 160 km (100 miles) of range in just five minutes, by 2024. 

The investment by Volvo Cars will help StoreDot accelerate its time to market for its ultra-fast battery charging technology. StoreDot's goal is to mass produce a battery that can charge quickly enough to add 100 miles of range in five minutes by 2024. 

Polestar's Wall Street debut on Friday comes amid rising inflation and economic uncertainty that caused sharp declines in the stock market. Shares of Polestar's main competitor Tesla are down nearly 41% since the start of the year.

Polestar's U.S. listing follows Chinese EV startups Xpeng Inc and NIO Inc, both of which launched IPOs in the U.S. in 2018 and 2020. Xpeng and NIO shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbols "XPEV" and "NIO".

Polestar will be ringing the opening bell at Nasdaq in New York City on June 28, 2022 to celebrate the company's public listing. A live stream of the event can be viewed by visiting https://livestream.com/accounts/27896496/events/10423292.


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