Lynk & Co, co-owned by Volvo’s owner and its two brands Volvo and Geely Auto, began selling its first model in China last year. Photo: File

INTERNATIONAL – Volvo Cars, which is owned by China’s Geely, could in future seek external investors for its Polestar electric car brand and list the unit on the stock market but has no immediate plans to do so, the company said on Thursday.

Germany’s Capital magazine had earlier quoted Volvo chief executive Hakan Samuelsson as saying that Polestar could tap financial investors to help stem the costs of developing new electric powertrains as a precursor to listing Polestar one day.

However, a spokesman for the Swedish carmaker said that while Samuelsson had “discussed the benefits of making it possible for external investors to enter Polestar in the future”, he had not confirmed any plans in that direction.

“(There are) no plans and no timeline for this; it was only a discussion around future possibilities,” he told Reuters.

Carmakers are having to strike partnerships and seek alliances to cut the burden and cost of building new electric and autonomous powertrains, even as they grapple with challenges stemming from Washington’s trade war with China and new emission regulations.

Volvo has not only had to spend cash to retool its global factories to limit the negative tariff impact but also had to abandon plans to list itself for a valuation of between $20 billion (R275bn) and $30 billion in September due to trade tensions and an auto industry downturn.

The company and parent Geely each have a 50 percent stake in Polestar, having in October 2017 agreed to jointly invest 5 billion Chinese yuan renminbi ($736 million) in the brand to fund initial development of electric cars.