Demand for Volvo’s dedicated arm for premium plug-ins, Polestar, is on the up. After receiving thousands pre-orders for its first model, a 600 hp PHEV, Polestar is mulling to increase production. Also, very competitive pricing for the Polestar 2 has been released.
Initially Polestar did not want to make more than 500 units a year of the Polestar 1, a plug-in hybrid that comes in at 600 hp and an electric range of 150 kilometres. Interest however has spiked and since pre-orders opened last October, over 5,000 potential customers have signed up and Polestar is mulling how to fulfil such demand.
“We are looking at whether we could do a higher volume than 500 units a year,” Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath told Automotive News Europe, and added that there may be “potential to go to two shifts.”
The Polestar 1 will be made in a brand new factory in China, a nod to Volvo’s Chinese benefactor Geely. The opening of the plant in Chengdu is scheduled for mid-2018 and the facility is said to be state-of-the-art. Designed in cooperation with Norwegian architect Snøhetta, Volvo claims that it is going to be the environment-friendliest car factory in China and one of the most efficient ones worldwide (we reported). Actual production however, will not start before 2019, which should give Polestar time to crunch some numbers and to gather more interest.
In terms of sales, Polestar plans to set up what the label calls Polestar Spaces and it is to be expected that they will largely follow Tesla concept stores. The business model is a subscription model, that is basically a reservation option at the moment. The launch markets are China, the States, Germany, Sweden, Norway, and the Netherlands (we reported).
Meanwhile, the Swedes have also been working on their second model that is positioned as a direct rival to Tesla’s Model 3. The price must thus range in the economy class – in Volvo’s world that is 40,000 euros. Launch is scheduled for 2020.
The Polestar 2 being a volume model, a new facility has yet to be built or decided upon as it will have to be able to churn out 50,000 units a year at least.
On top, the Polestar 3 has been outlined as a low SUV due by 2022 and made at the Chengdu factory. Both the Polestar 2 and 3 will be fully electric, leaving only the first model using Volvo’s PHEV technology.