Polestar now expects 2023 global sales volumes of 60,000 to 70,000, compared with its earlier forecast of about 80,000 units. Polestar delivered 51,491 units last year.
“Given the tougher economic climate, it is difficult for us to compensate for the absence of the Polestar 3 volumes with an incremental Polestar 2 volume,” Polestar CFO Johan Malmqvist said on an earnings call Thursday. “That, coupled with high market uncertainties, led us to call down the volumes.”
Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath said the volume forecast adjustment would also help the automaker protect the profit margin on the Polestar 2.
“We are intent not to push cars into the market for any price, just to achieve the volume that we once announced,” Ingenlath said on the call. Lowering sales estimates “gives us the opportunity to maintain the right balance between the volume that we achieve and what we achieve in terms of margins and price stability with our products.”
The automaker also said it is taking the knife to cost. Polestar said it would cut global headcount by 10 percent, or about 300 jobs, and institute a global hiring freeze.
The automaker will also keep from adding the 500 jobs it is intended for this year.
“We are also working on additional initiatives to drive out costs and to conserve cash in the company, such as trimming the development costs of certain car programs, efficiency gains with our commercial operations,” said CFO Malmqvist. “For example, we’ve seen improvements in the quality levels of the Polestar 2 leading to lower warranty repairs.”
The latest delay in launching the Polestar 3 — and an essential US market product — puts further pressure on Polestar’s retailers struggling with limited inventory from a single sedan model.
Polestar dealer Matthew Haiken now expects to see customer deliveries of Polestar 3 begin in Q2 next year.
The pushback puts “a lot of stress” on the retail network, the CEO of Polestar Short Hills in New Jersey told Automotive News.
“The EV market is uber-competitive; everybody is super-aggressive,” he said. “We need throughput; we need product. It’s an SUV world and the Polestar 2 is not an SUV.”