Swedish carmaker Volvo plans to produce a new premium SUV for its electric Polestar brand at a plant in Charleston, South Carolina, the company said Wednesday.
It will be the first vehicle produced domestically for Polestar, which was formed in 2017 by Volvo Cars and its China-based parent company, Geely Holding Group. It also is expected to be one of the first electric vehicles, if not the first, produced by Volvo in the U.S.
Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath said the new Polestar 3 SUV will “absolutely” be the new flagship for the brand as it expands its lineup and retail network in the U.S.
“It will be a big milestone for our brand,” he told CNBC during an interview. “The expression of the car will be so much Polestar and show where our brand is going in the future ahead.”
Volvo is investing $118 million for production of the Polestar 3 at the South Carolina plant. The vehicle is expected to go into production in 2022. It will have the same platform as the next-generation Volvo XC90, which also will be produced at the plant.
Polestar is unique, as it’s an electric-vehicle brand from an established automaker, rather than a new EV start-up or a traditional automotive brand adding EVs to its lineup. Such a structure allows Polestar to move quickly while having the resources of an established automaker to rely on when needed, according to Ingenlath.
In April, Polestar announced that it had raised $550 million from a group of long-term external investors and that more fundraising was a possibility.
Polestar currently operates in 13 countries, with plans to sell tens of thousands of vehicles globally.