Volvo Cars' only production facility in the United States is adding another electrified vehicle to its portfolio. Volvo has announced that it will build the upcoming all-electric Polestar 3 SUV for its affiliate brand at its South Carolina factory.
Volvo opened its Ridgeville, SC facility in 2018 and currently builds the S60 luxury sedan with gasoline-only and plug-in hybrid powertrains. Starting in 2022, the plant will begin making the redesigned 2022 XC90 SUV, including an all-electric version and batteries for electric vehicles (EVs). In addition, Volvo and Polestar jointly announced that the Polestar 3 SUV will join the expanding EV lineup and, while the companies did not say when production would start, it's likely to begin next year.
Volvo has invested more than $1.2 billion into its South Carolina operations to build vehicles in the U.S. For the Polestar expansion, Volvo will invest another $118 million to build the Polestar 3 under contract. Volvo Cars and Geely Holding Group launched the Polestar brand in 2017, and today the company said that "use of [the Ridgeville] facility is one of the major advantages of having family ties with both Volvo and Geely Holding."
According to data recently published by Third Way, of the 50 automotive assembly plants in the U.S., 24 are or will soon make electric vehicles or parts. Domestic manufacturing is a benefit to local economies, Third Way said, and "though suppliers for traditional vehicles still dominate, it's clear that the EV supply base has started to take hold across the country."
Polestar's decision to build the Polestar 3 in the U.S. is just the latest example of this trend. The company currently produces its Polestar 1 and 2 models in China, but the South Carolina expansion will mean future Polestar EVs won't face any troubles with import costs.
"Production in the USA makes procurement more efficient, reduces delivery times, and will even have a positive impact on the price of the Polestar 3 SUV," said Polestar COO Dennis Nobelius in a statement. "All of this makes the brand even more competitive in the critical American sales market."
Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath said building the Polestar 3 in South Carolina proves that the Swedish company is at home in the U.S.
"Polestar 3 will be built in America, for our American customers," Ingenlath said in a statement. "I remember the great response when I first shared Polestar's vision here in the USA, and I am proud that our first SUV will be manufactured in South Carolina. From now on, the USA is no longer an export market but a home market."
The Polestar 3 will share a next-generation electrical architecture with upcoming Volvo models, such as the redesigned 2022 Volvo XC90.