Software, it turns out, is difficult for automakers. And building a so-called software-defined car – the term du jour in automotive circles – is even more difficult.
Software development problems led to executive shakeups at VW Group, bricked up vehicles, remembers and generally unpleasant vehicle experiences. Now Polestar and Volvo Cars are caught up in the endless vortex of software development. Both companies delayed launching their next EV due to software development issues.
Polestar said on Thursday as part of its first-quarter earnings report that final software development of its new all-electric platform shared by Volvo Cars is needed and that production of the Polestar 3 has been delayed to the first quarter of 2024 Polestar and Volvo Cars is owned by the same parent company Geely Holdings. Polestar went public in June 2022 through a merger with a dedicated acquisition company. Volvo Cars remains the majority shareholder of Polestar.
“In light of this and the economic climate impacting the automotive industry, Polestar now expects global volumes of 60,000 – 70,000 vehicles for 2023, an annual growth rate of 16% – 36%, following record deliveries of 51,491 last year,” the company said.
Polestar said the Polestar 4 is still expected to make its market debut in China in the fourth quarter of 2023. The Polestar 4 will move to other markets in early 2024.
Meanwhile, the same story is playing out at Volvo Cars. The company said on Thursday it will not begin production of the all-electric Volvo EX90 until the first half of 2024 because it needs extra time in software development and testing. Production should start at the end of 2023.
VW Group has also recently postponed its software development plans. Earlier this week, the company ousted top management from its Cariad software arm and enlisted Bentley CEO Peter Bosch to get it back on track.
Software 1.1 version can be found in Volkswagen vehicles today. The software 1.2. platform is being developed for Audi and Porsche cars, while the 2.0 version will be an operating system designed for all brands of the VW group. But the effort is at least two years behind schedule. The software 1.2 platform should be completed in 2022. Now Cariad is working to complete it this year to be ready for 2024 VW models.
VW Group has postponed the launch of 2.0 to 2027 or 2028.