21.6.2017Volvo launches Polestar as electric performance brand
Volvo has announced that its performance arm Polestar will become a new brand within the company, focusing on electrified models. The move will see Polestar contribute to Volvo's existing aims of having at least two hybrids available for each model in its range, and its plans to launch an all-electric model by 2019.
Led by Thomas Ingenlath - Volvo's Senior Vice President Design - the brand will clearly have a design-led brief. Ingenlath is one of the key designers credited with Volvo's current and acclaimed design language. He will be joined by Jonathan Goodman, Senior Vice President Corporate Communication at Volvo Cars, in roles of Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer respectively.
The news sees Volvo run down a similar path to those forged by the likes of BMW and Mercedes. Having brought the likes of BMW M and Mercedes AMG in-house, and then given the performance brands greater scope than ever before, Volvo's German rivals have another string to their bow in terms of models available. Jaguar Land Rover have developed its SVO and Audi its RS brands to similar effect.
Volvo has stolen a march on them all though. Despite plans already in the pipeline for the likes of M-Division and AMG to use electrification to boost economy and performance, Volvo will use Polestar as both its performance champion and electric development vanguard.
Volvo has already developed Polestar products as an add-on available for many of its existing models. However, it is now clear that the brand will create its own models - or at least use existing Volvos but engineer them to be different enough to warrant the Polestar badge.
No details of future products have been announced, but Volvo's two scalable platforms means that huge levels of engineering options are already readily available. Both architectures have already been designed with electrification in mind, so that part of Polestar's brief is relatively simple to carry out.
Polestar started out life as a motorsport team with Volvo works support, before being bought by Volvo in 2015 with the intention to both continue racing and develop a performance arm.
HÃ¥kan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars, sais: "Thomas (Ingenlath) heading up the Polestar organisation shows our commitment to establishing a truly differentiated stand-alone brand within the Volvo Car Group.
"With 25 years of commercial experience in the automotive industry, Jonathan (Goodman) is ideally placed to provide operational experience alongside Thomas's vision, building on the experienced management team that will drive the Polestar brand forwards.
"Polestar will be a credible competitor in the emerging global market for high performance electrified cars. With Polestar, we are able to offer electrified cars to the worldâ€™s most demanding, progressive drivers in all market segments."