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Volvo: Electric car unit Polestar could go public
Reuters | 2019/1/25

STOCKHOLM -- Volvo Cars, which is owned by China's Geely, could seek external investors for its Polestar electric car brand and list the unit on the stock market but has no immediate plans to do so, the company said Thursday.

Germany's   Capital   magazine, quoting Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson, said Polestar could tap financial investors to help stem the costs of developing new electric powertrains as a precursor to a public stock offering one day.

However, a spokesman for the Swedish carmaker said that while Samuelsson had "discussed the benefits of making it possible for external investors to enter Polestar in the future", he had not confirmed any plans in that direction.

"(There are) no plans and no timeline for this; it was only a discussion around future possibilities," he told Reuters.

Carmakers are striking partnerships and seeking alliances to cut the cost of building electric and autonomous powertrains, even as they grapple with challenges stemming from Washington's trade war with China and new emissions regulations.

Volvo has not only had to spend cash to retool its global factories to limit the negative tariff impact but also had to abandon plans for an initial public offering -- valued between $20 billion and $30 billion -- in September due to trade tensions and the auto industryí»s downturn.

The company and parent Geely each have a 50 percent stake in Polestar. In October 2017, they agreed to jointly invest 5 billion Chinese yuan renminbi ($736 million) in the brand to fund initial development of electric vehicles.

Geely declined to comment on Thursday.

A Polestar spokesman said: "The entire Polestar Management team is focused on developing the Polestar 1 and preparations for the upcoming launch of Polestar 2."

The brand is looking to roll out three models by 2021, with a sales target of 50,000 to 100,000 vehicles a year.

It is gearing up to launch the Polestar 2, its first EV that is touted as a Tesla Model 3 rival, this quarter, and intends to launch production of the more expensive $155,000 Polestar 1 hybrid by the middle of the year.

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