Volvo plans US$750m investment in Polestar factory in Sichuan, China
Volvo Cars is planning to spend as much as 5 billion yuan (US$750 million) to build a new manufacturing plant for its Polestar brand of cars in Chengdu, in Sichuan Province in China, reports Nikkei.
Construction is already under way in the region, as the Chinese-owned Swedish automotive firm overhauls its Polestar range as an electric brand leader. Investment will be made jointly by Volvo owner Geely and the company itself – and, unusually, Polestar cars made in China will also be exported to the US, Europe and Japan.
“As we have a Volvo factory in China, we have already built a network of suppliers,” Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson told Nikkei. “China is probably going to be the market where electrification will be introduced fastest; already today half of [all] EVs are sold in China. The Chinese government is very positive that they are promoting electrification, so this market is very interesting for us.”
The Polestar 1, unveiled in October, will be a plug-in hybrid and available on the market in 2019. The two-door, 2+2 seat Grand Tourer Coupé comes with an ‘Electric Performance Hybrid’ drivetrain, offering a range of 150km on battery power – which Volvo claims is the longest full-electric range of any hybrid car on the market.
An output of 600hp and 1000Nm of torque places the car firmly in the performance car segment.
The Polestar 2, meanwhile, will be all-electric and is to compete with the Tesla Model 3. Meanwhile, Volvo intends to unveil 3 EV models by 2021.