Polestar shares rise as earnings and production forecasts delight investors

Polestar (PSNY), the Sweden-based EV maker backed by Volvo and Geely, is on a roll.

The company posted strong fourth-quarter results, reporting a smaller-than-expected loss and revenue up 84% from a year ago. And in a surprise for a pure-play EV maker, the company surpassed its annual production forecast of 50,000, and now predicts its 2023 production target will reach 80,000 units, a jump of 60%.

“Well, we had a very, very strong production run in the second half of ’22, after which it was left to our countries to deliver these cars until the last day in ’22 to really release all the cars produced. Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath said in an interview with Yahoo Finance.

“And you can imagine we had a very, very happy Christmas knowing that we are delivering and making that distinction because we are the EV startup that is hitting the targets and doing what we promised to do,” he added .

Polestar is indeed doing what it promised to do, although it’s a little interesting to call the company a “startup” for a company backed by Volvo and Geely. Polestar uses a joint Volvo/Geely plant in Zhejiang province, China, to build the Polestar 2, the flagship vehicle it has for sale.

Ingenlath is confident in the company’s 80,000 production target, though he acknowledges that “logistics and supply chain [are] not as optimal’ as in recent years. It’s easier for Polestar because they only build one vehicle, but by the end of the year the company will have three products on sale, rounding out the portfolio.

Polestar 3 SUV (Credit: Polestar)

“2023 is still a year where we operate as a single-model company,” said Ingenlath, noting that 2023 is a transitional year, with the Polestar 3 SUV coming soon. “By the end of the year we will have a product portfolio with a range of three products, not just the Polestar 3, but also the Polestar 4 that is there, joining and launching this year.”

The Polestar 3 SUV, based on the same architecture as Volvo’s EX90 EV SUV, and the Polestar 4 Coupé SUV will complete Polestar’s product range by the end of 2023. The Polestar 5 saloon should appear in 2024, along with the sleek Polestar roadster in 2026.

Polestar O₂ Roadster, soon the Polestar 6

Polestar O₂ Roadster, soon the Polestar 6

“It is now no problem for us to bring these cars to market and into production,” says Ingenlath. “Our asset-lite model that we’re using, where we’re indeed partnering with the factories and the production teams established within Volvo and Geely, gives us that kind of comfort about, yes, not ending up in production hell.”

Was that a dig at Tesla CEO Elon Musk experiencing “production hell” in ramping up the Model 3?

Maybe. While the Swedish upstart is on the rise, it still has a long way to go before it can become the biggest player in the space.

Pras Subramanian is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. You can follow him Twitter and further Instagram.

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