How the Polestar 3 will improve on the US factory plan
The Ridgeville plant, which opened four years ago and is still underutilized, currently builds only one vehicle: the Volvo S60 low-volume sedan. At the end of next year, he will start assembling the large EX90 crossover.
Supplying most of the world from a single plant will improve economies of scale, said Sam Fiorani, vice president of AutoForecast Solutions.
“Volvo needs to increase production above 80% of its capacity in Charleston to make production profitable,” Fiorani said. “Adding the Volvo EX90 alone will not be enough.”
US sourcing will give Polestar a competitive geopolitical advantage. By producing the crossover in America, Polestar will avoid a Chinese import tariff of around 25%, which would have bumped its starting price above $100,000.
Domestic production also allows for more manageable logistics.
The United States will be the midsize Polestar 3’s biggest market, accounting for a third of its sales. According to the Automotive News Research & Data Center, premium midsize crossovers made up the largest premium crossover segment in the United States in the first nine months of this year, with nearly 100,000 more sales than premium compact trucks.
China will consume a quarter of the world’s production, and the rest will go to various markets across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Up to 70% of the vehicle’s supply chain is already in operation in the Americas, Nobelius said. Suppliers include Brembo for braking, Luminar for lidar sensors and Nvidia for central computing.
Investing in two supply chains, one in China and one in the Americas, the COO said, creates “robustness” in the supply lines and allows Polestar to “flex volumes a bit”.
Volvo’s location on the east coast and proximity to major ports make it ideal for supplying European markets.
Polestar’s U.S. chief Gregor Hembrough said localized manufacturing will allow faster deliveries to customers.
Hypothetically, he said, “with local production, we don’t lose the eight to 10 weeks the car is on the water” shipped from China.