Polestar Factory in Chengdu, China
Polestar Factory in Chengdu, China

Unless you’re pretty into cars, there’s a good change you’ve never heard of Polestar. Once a Volvo performance trim level—along the lines of BMW’s M Performance, or Mercedes-Benz’s AMG—Polestar is now a stand-alone luxury/performance electric-vehicle brand with a small retail organization here in the States.

More Polestar news and reviews

Founded in 2017, Polestar’s ownership is a complicated affair. Until recently a quasi-division of Volvo, Polestar is now majority owned by Volvo parent company Geely. This past month, Volvo cut its ownership stake in Polestar from 49 percent to just 18, with the remainder being absorbed by Geely.

Volvo cut its ties with Polestar because the carmaker was having a difficult time covering the costs of bringing Polestar up speed as a global brand. Last year Polestar sold almost 55,000 cars in total, 8400 of which landed here in the U.S. For the record, Polestar has 30 dealerships in the States, six of which are in California. So, if you live in, say, Nebraska, you’ve likely never seen a Polestar. That will likely change, but not very soon.

One of the interesting things about Polestar is that it is very much a brand without a home. While almost everyone knows that Volvo is a Swedish brand, folks might have a more difficult time sussing out Polestars national origins. Sure, we can just sum things up as, “Polestar is a spin-off of Swedish carmaker Volvo funded by Chinese automotive conglomerate Geely,” but the truth is cloudier than that. For the record, Polestar’s claimed headquarters is in Gothenburg, Sweden—right there with Volvo—but the company’s sprawling international presence suggests that the company is a little less settled than that.

Let’s take a look at where Polestar vehicles are built, and see if that lends any clarity to the national identity of Polestar.

Where are Polestars Built?


Polestar 1 (sporty coupe)

Model years: 2020-2021

Built in: Chengdu, China

2019 Polestar 1
2019 Polestar 1

An ironic way to launch an EV brand, Polestar’s first vehicle, the Polestar 1, was actually a gas-powered plug-in hybrid. The smallish 2+2 sporty car featured a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine mated to two electric motors. Only offered for a couple of years, the first Polestar was assembled in Chengdu China. That factory is now referred to by Geely as the Polestar Plant. In total, 1500 were produced.

Polestar!: Volvo Turns Up the Power for the S60 and V60


Polestar 2 (small hatchback)

Model years: 2021-Present

Built in: Luqiao, Zhejiang, China

2024 Polestar 2
2024 Polestar 2

Polestar’s first volume product, and its first all-electric model, the Polestar 2 small 4-door hatchback is produced at Volvo’s “CMA Super Factory” in Luqiao, Zhejiang, China. The factory also manufacturers the popular Volvo XC40.

2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6: First Spin


Polestar 3 (midsize crossover)

Model years: 2025-

Built in: Chengdu, China; Ridgeville, South Carolina

2025 Polestar 3
2025 Polestar 3

Originally scheduled for a 2024-model-year release, the Polestar 3 is a midsize 2-row crossover that shares its mechanical architecture the Volvo EX90, which is now in production. Positioned as the Polestar flagship, the “3” will be produced in multiple locations. The Polestar 3 is currently produced in Chengdu, China, with additional production from Volvo’s Ridgeville, South Carolina assembly facility, coming online in calendar-year 2025. The Ridgeville plant currently produces the Volvo S60 compact car, and EX90 midsize electric crossover.

Test Drive: 2023 Volvo S60 Recharge Ultimate Black Edition


Polestar 4 (coupe crossover)

Model years: 2025-

Built in: Ninbo, China; Busan South Korea

2025 Polestar 4
2025 Polestar 4

A compact/midsize “coupe crossover,” the Polestar 4 will be the first of the brand’s products assembled with an eye towards potential tariffs levied by the U.S. on Chinese imports. The 4 will be built under contract by Renault in Busan, South Korea. The French maker’s Renault Korea Motors (RKM) facility is located near port facilities, and will produce the Polestar 4 for sale in the U.S. and South Korea. The coupe crossover will also be assembled in Ningbo, China for sale in other markets. The Ningbo plant is a Geely factory which also produces luxury electric vehicles sold under the maker’s Zeekr brand.

Because the Korean Polestar 4s will be assembled in a country with U.S. Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status, the vehicle should not be subject to import tariffs that would likely to applied to a Chinese-produced car or truck.

2025 Volvo EX30: First Spin


Polestar 5 (large sedan)

Model years: 2026-

Built in: Chongqing, China

2026 Polestar 5
2026 Polestar 5

Designed to compete with the likes of the Lucid Air, Porsche Taycan, and Telsa Model S, the Polestar Model 5 should see production starting late in 2025. The 5 will be assembled in an all-new factory Geely is building in Chongqing, China. The luxury-oriented Polestar 5 shares its basic architecture with the all-new Lotus Eletre, though it will not be assembled in the same factory. Lotus, like Volvo, is largely owned by Geely.

Listen to the Car Stuff Podcast

Follow Tom on Twitter

Polestar Gallery

Click below for enlarged images

Test Drive: 2023 Polestar 2 Dual Motor Plus

Consumer Guide Car Stuff Podcast Episode 223: Welcome Kia EV9, Long-Term Tesla Model Y, Why Dealers Haven’t Embraced Electric Vehicles

Share this: