Volvo Car Brand Polestar Chooses UK For New Development Hub Amidst Brexit

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Today, Polestar, a Swedish luxury electric carmaker which is jointly owned by Volvo Cars and its Chinese parent Geely, said that it is set to establish an R&D centre in the United Kingdom to develop future passenger cars.

The move comes as the impending exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union has dented the car manufacturing industry of Britain, prompting various carmakers to cut its local production and warn that Brexit was deterring its suppliers and EU workers.

The cars of Polestar are known for their signature Polestar gold seat belts. It said that there were no special considerations about Brexit in making its decision as the move was more about tapping existing engineering expertise in the United Kingdom.

Polestar intends to initially employ 60 engineers in the United Kingdom and expand its team over the rest of the year.

In a statement, Hans Pehrson, the R&D head, stated: “Polestar’s role as a technology spearhead requires new and developing skills in low-volume, light-weight, multi-material performance car engineering. The UK operation will allow us to take the next steps towards our future cars.”

A spokesperson for the firm declined to disclose what segments or models they were exploring. The firm hopes to offer its cars largely via a monthly subscription model that covers insurance and maintenance cost.

Currently, the company is manufacturing Polestar 1, its only hybrid, in China. Earlier this year, it revealed that  Polestar 2, its mass-market sedan is considered to be a competitor to the Model 3 of Tesla,

It has also ensured the market of an electric coupe-style SUV, Polestar 3, in 2021, just after the expected launch of the Model Y SUV of Tesla, with both carmakers betting that mass market customers are on the verge of adopting battery technology.

The cost of the site in the United Kingdom will be borne by Polestar. It will be the first independent facility of the marquee, with the company having so far depended on Volvo for its R&D capacity.

The move comes as Volvo courts tech investors in China and the United States to buy a stake in Polestar. Hakan Samuelsson, the Chief Executive of Volvo is hoping that it will be valued at a tech multiple like Tesla and Nio instead of its auto incumbents.