Polestar’s plan to go public via a merger with the special-purpose acquisition company Gores Guggenheim in the first half of this year forced the Volvo Cars subsidiary to do something it had decline to do since it was born in 2017: provide detailed sales and financial targets. Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath said that revealing the electric car maker’s midterm plan -- which includes boosting sales to 290,000 by 2025 from 29,000 last year and reaching breakeven in 2023 -- was “absolutely terrifying.” He added, however, that making the targets public has been a great motivator. Ingenlath also explained how Polestar was spared from the worst of the chip crisis and revealed a big change the company has made in the U.S. during an interview with Automotive News Europe Managing Editor Douglas A. Bolduc.
Polestar for years was reluctant to provide sales or financial targets. That changed after you announced plans to become a publicly listed company through a combination with special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Gores Guggenheim. Polestar has provided a detailed sales and financial outlook for 2021-25. Was that terrifying or was it liberating to finally announce all those goals?
You are right. It's absolutely terrifying. But this is required if you want to go to the public markets. It also has a positive effect in that it puts everything into the open. It's like if you want to quit smoking, the best thing to do is tell everybody because then they will hold you responsible. Making a public commitment helps you to strive toward a goal in a way that you would have never done if you had kept the target a secret.