Volvo’s performance arm Polestar has moved its production future to China, where it will build a state-of-the-art facility that will also act as a performance and customer centre.
Polestar’s all-electric future has been boosted with today’s announcement of the Polestar 1, one of three models set to be manufactured at the plant in Chengdu.
The move to China should come as no surprise, as the brand’s parent company Volvo is owned by Chinese manufacturer Geely.
Speaking to press at the 1’s unveiling, the company’s chief operating officer, Jonathan Goodman, said the manufacturing plant will be unlike any currently in existence.
“We want to do things a little differently. We wanted to build a plant that is also a reflection of our brand, a plant that is modern, progressive, dynamic, technologically advanced and environmentally responsible.”
Part of that environmentally-friendly focus sees Polestar use 100 per cent renewable hydroelectric energy. The facility was designed by a Norwegian architectural firm.
MORE: Polestar 1 REVEALED
Although Polestar says the first of its new hybrid coupes will roll of the facility’s production line next year, construction of the actual plant itself hasn’t yet started, with the company aiming to have both the plant running and the first car out the door before the end of next year.
According to Goodman, the plant is designed in such a way that it can handle the 500-1000 a year “low volume production of Polestar 1 and high volume productions of the future models”.
Those future models include the Tesla Model 3 competitor, the all-electric Polestar 2 from late 2019 and the soon-to-follow electric SUV, the Polestar 3. Unlike the Polestar 1, the other two models will be made from the get-go in right-hand drive.
As for why the vehicles aren’t being built in Volvo’s home country of Sweden, Goodman said it made logical sense to base the plant in China, given not only the parent company connection but also the lack of capacity back home.
“I don’t think we have the capacity to do that in Torslanda (Sweden) at the moment. You have some very specific manufacturing technologies to build this car with a carbon-fibre body. Plus, China is going to be one of the biggest markets for electric cars going forward. You can do things very quickly here.”
Once it produces the Polestar 1, the new Chinese facility will be producing the most powerful production car ever built in China.
Production of the Polestar 2 and 3 will start from 2019, and volume for those is expected to be in the tens of thousands per year. Current vehicles ‘engineered’ by Polestar but based on Volvo models will continue to be produced in their current factories.