Electric car maker Polestar increases visibility ahead of planned US stock market listing

10 March 2022


Swedish electric-vehicle (EV) maker Polestar is ramping up efforts to increase market visibility, with the Volvo spin-off preparing for a stock market flotation in the US. As the startup’s largest investor, Volvo Cars announced its commitment to support Polestar’s ambitious growth plans by signing a declaration of intent.

This states that Volvo will ‘subscribe for potential future equity or equity-linked securities issued by Polestar.’ Volvo added its investment in Polestar was of strategic importance, with the car manufacturer striving to be a ‘responsible shareholder and business partner.’

Bold growth plans

Polestar has bolstered its global presence in the automotive market in recent months as it pursues bold car sales targets and continuous market expansion. By 2023, it wants to be active in at least 30 car markets, up from 19 in 2021. Last year, the automotive company delivered 29,000 vehicles, a jump of nearly 200% year on year.

The Gothenburg-based group is planning to go public on the Nasdaq stock exchange in New York through a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC). The deal valued the carmaker at $20 billion (€18.1 billion) when the news was first announced in September last year. Given Russia’s aggressive invasion of Ukraine, which has increased market volatility, the growing uncertainty may dent this valuation.

As part of its planned IPO, Polestar plans a business combination with Gores Guggenheim, which is expected to close in the first half of 2022. Volvo’s announcement is no coincidence as Polestar said it would need to raise additional funds through debt and equity financings to support its growth, based on current business plans. Volvo Cars added its declaration of intent will apply after Polestar’s proposed stock-market flotation, coming with a duration period that will end in March 2024.

‘No blah blah’

The EV maker recently grabbed headlines with its short and punchy Super Bowl advert, in which it took a jab at Volkswagen (VW) and Tesla, saying the brand has ‘no dieselgate’ history and ‘no conquering Mars’ ambitions. The business is eager to avoid sugar-coating things and, in reference to climate activist Greta Thunberg, said there was ‘no blah blah blah’ going on at the company.

Instead, Polestar wants to raise its profile among car consumers and continue to accelerate its growth strategy. The carmaker works with startups as it looks for the latest innovations when it comes to connectivity and mobility. It has recently partnered with Swedish innovation hub MobilityXlab, which fosters collaborations between promising tech startups, hoping to drive change in the automotive industry.

‘The partnership supports Polestar’s rapid growth strategy and allows us to leverage the wider tech industry to accelerate innovation,’ said Nils Mösko, Polestar’s global head of strategy and business development. ‘We are constantly looking for innovators that can help us bring value to our business, improve society, and ultimately benefit our customers. MobilityXlab is a perfect platform for this as well as opening opportunities to collaborate with partner companies.’

As part of this partnership, Polestar will support innovative ideas from the global startup community, aimed at speeding up advancements in the realms of mobility. It plans to work closely with shortlisted companies to develop ideas and turn them into reality. The carmaker is eager to explore cutting-edge technology to enhance the overall in-car experience for Polestar drivers, it said.