By Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh
BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – An electric vehicle (EV) factory planned by Chinese automaking group Geely will produce cars under the premium Polestar marque, two people with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Monday.
Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co Ltd plans to build a plant with annual manufacturing capacity of 30,000 premium EVs in the western city of Chongqing, run by a wholly owned, newly registered company, showed documents on its website.
Geely and Polestar declined to comment on the marque.
The plan comes as foreign automakers including BMW AG (DE:) and Tesla Inc (O:) expand EV production in the world’s biggest market, sourcing major EV components such as batteries locally and often exporting the end product.
Hangzhou-based Geely is China’s most internationally known automaker. It owns Volvo Cars and Lotus, almost half of Proton and 9.7% of Daimler AG (DE:). Its Hong Kong-listed Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd (HK:) is planning a Shanghai float.
Through wholly owned company Polestar, it builds low-volume Polestar 1 hybrid performance cars in the western city of Chengdu and Polestar 2 volume sedans in Taizhou in the east.
It also plans to begin production of the Precept sedan, displayed at this year’s China auto show.
Polestar aims to eventually offer bigger, more sporty vehicles at its showrooms, which currently span nine countries and whose number it plans to raise to 45 from 23 by year-end.
Polestar Chief Executive Thomas Ingenlath told Reuters the firm is scouting markets in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.
Geely is also building a factory in China to make sport-utility vehicles under the Lotus marque, Reuters reported.
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