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Volvo’s Polestar to plot its own course

Volvo is spinning out Polestar into a high-performance EV brand

Volvo Cars is spinning off its Polestar, its performance car arm, as a stand-alone brand that will focus on designing and producing high-spec EVs.

“Polestar will be a credible competitor in the emerging global market for high-performance electrified cars,” said Volvo. “With Polestar, we are able to offer electrified cars to the world’s most demanding, progressive drivers in all market segments.”

Intriguingly, Polestar will offer its own branded cars that will no longer carry a Volvo logo, as well as optimisation packages for Volvo’s existing range of cars under the Polestar Engineered brand. That would seem to open up a range of possibilities from electric conversions of existing Volvo models, up to original creations.

“Polestar will enjoy specific technological and engineering synergies with Volvo Cars and benefit from significant economies of scale as a result of its connection to Volvo,” the parent added. “These synergies will allow it to design, develop and build world beating electrified high performance cars.”

Although it has always been a Volvo brand, Polestar racing team and production arm were separate from the parent group until July 2015, when Volvo acquired 100% of Polestar Performance. The racing team then changed its name to Cyan Racing, although the two still work in close co-operation.

Volvo Cars also announced that Thomas Ingenlath, senior VP of design at Volvo, will assume the position of CEO at Polestar.

Volvo itself is owned by China’s Geely, and the two are currently working on a flexible EV platform which will suit models in China and the rest of the world. There could be further synergies to be had with Polestar’s involvement.

Details remain scarce, however Autocar reports that Volvo Cars’ chief executive Håkan Samuelsson had suggested that Polestar’s first offering might be a larger vehicle, potentially pointing to an electric version of the company’s 60 or 90 models.

Whatever Polestar does develop, its high-performance racing pedigree suggests it will be an exciting addition to the EV market.


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