Polestar announced today that production of the Polestar 3 crossover has started in Chengdu, China, the same place where it builds the Polestar 2 sedan. In the not-too-distant future—in the middle of 2024—the Polestar 3 will enter production in South Carolina, U.S., becoming the brand's first model produced on two continents.

It can't come soon enough. The Polestar brand, a product of the Geely Group family and a close cousin to Volvo, has been struggling with slowing sales and doubts about its future. Even Volvo recently announced it would take a step back as an investor in the brand.

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Polestar plans five models by 2026

With the Polestar 3 and Polestar 4 joining the Polestar 2, the company expanded its lineup from one to three models. By 2026, Polestar intends to offer also Polestar 5 four-door GT and Polestar 6 roadster.

According to Polestar, the first early production test series in the American factory has been completed successfully. After China, the Polestar 3 will be produced at Volvo Cars’ Ridgeville, South Carolina plant, alongside the Volvo EX90 three-row crossover.

Polestar 3 Production In Chengdu, China

Polestar 3 Production In Chengdu, China

Polestar 3 Production In Chengdu, China

Polestar 3 Production In Chengdu, China

“This stunning car takes a significant step forward with the start of production marking an important milestone on our journey from a one- to three-car company this year," Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath said. "We have also achieved launch readiness at the factory in Ridgeville, South Carolina, and are well on track with our plans to start manufacturing Polestar 3 in the USA.”

 

The all-electric brand could use the boost lately. Sales in 2023 increased only slightly compared to 2022, reaching roughly 54,600 units. At present, the Polestar 2 sedan is the only car in its lineup. The company is reducing its workforce globally amid "challenging market conditions." Moreover,  while brand now hangs mostly on Geely Holding, as Volvo Cars decided to reduce its stake in the Polestar.

A lot now depends on the sales of the Polestar 3 and Polestar 4 models. However, while the brand badly needs crossovers, the Polestar 3 is rather expensive; the base Long-Range Dual Motor model starts at $83,900, while the Long Range Dual Motor Performance Pack starts at $89,900. It is positioned as a competitor to the Audi Q8 E-Tron or BMW iX. 

The Polestar 4 is the brand's "mass-market" crossover and should be an even more crucial model, even if it doesn't come with a rear window. Production of that car began last year in China and it will also be built at the Renault Korea Motors (RKM) joint-venture plant in South Korea from 2025 onward, also allowing it to escape steep Chinese tariffs. The Polestar 4 is expected to start at a much more reasonable $60,000 or so. 

All in all, Polestar has more coming to market soon. The question in the U.S. will be how it hangs on until those cars arrive. 

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