Changing the car-buying experience is no easy task thanks to franchise laws and entrenched dealership lobby groups. Just look at Tesla and the difficulty it’s had to try to sell directly to customers. Some states outright forbid an automaker from selling directly to consumers, and that’s put Tesla in a bind. But Polestar, a Volvo performance sub-brand, will try to change that.
“Launching an entirely new car brand gives us the opportunity to assess what customers enjoy about car ownership, and what they are less keen on,” says Thomas Ingenlath, Chief Executive Officer at Polestar. “We also want to remove the hassle from traditional car ownership.”
That means customers can research, configure, and order cars online. If customers want to see a car before ordering, they can do so in a franchised Polestar Space. Here, customers will interact with non-commissioned product experts (not sales personnel) who will provide any information they need. These “spaces” will also offer pick-up and delivery servicing so customers won’t have to wait at a dealerships service center while their vehicle is being serviced.
Polestar is also offering a subscription service for customers, much like Care by Volvo. Here, customers can cover nearly all the associated costs of ownership through the service, including insurance, maintenance, repairs, and car payments. All customers have to pay for is gas.
Polestar has one vehicle right now – the Polestar 1. It’s a 600-plus horsepower hybrid coupe, which will enter production in mid-2019. Sadly, you can’t buy one. The first year of production is sold out with about 200 cars coming to North America. In early 2019, the company will debut its second model – Polestar 2 – which will be the company’s first full-battery electric vehicle set to compete with the Tesla Model 3.
Gallery: Polestar 1 Polestar Spaces
POLESTAR – THE NEW ELECTRIC PERFORMANCE BRAND AND A NEW APPROACH TO CAR OWNERSHIP FOR US CUSTOMERS
As a new entrant into the electrified automotive industry, Polestar has confirmed its positioning and innovative go-to-market strategy in the important North American car market. As a start-up electric car brand owned by Volvo Car Group, Polestar will offer electric performance cars with a modern, fully digital customer experience.
“Launching an entirely new car brand gives us the opportunity to assess what customers enjoy about car ownership, and what they are less keen on,” says Thomas Ingenlath, Chief Executive Officer at Polestar. “As an electric performance brand, we want to maximize our customer’s enjoyment of driving. Polestars will be great looking cars with avant-garde design that are full of modern technology and great to drive.
“We also want to remove the hassle from traditional car ownership. The customer will be able to research, configure and order their car online. They can choose our innovative subscription model that enables them to have all their motoring costs covered by one single monthly payment.
“We also know that many people want to physically see a car before ordering, so our customers will be able to meet the brand in a franchised Polestar Space. In a town center location, they’ll interact with non-commissioned product experts who are totally focused on enhancing their brand experience and giving them the information they want and need. They will also have pick-up and delivery servicing, meaning that their days of standing in line at service reception are over.”
“Polestar is a global brand from day one, operating in the world’s most important car markets – Europe, China and North America. We will therefore be opening Polestar Spaces in major US cities as demand requires them. We are also developing a new Polestar North America organization to meet the demands of this important market,” concludes Thomas Ingenlath.
Polestar’s momentum has been building following its launch as the new electric performance brand. The company’s first car, Polestar 1, was revealed in October 2017 as a 600 hp Electric Performance Hybrid, but with the longest pure electric range of any hybrid in the world. The Polestar 1 will start production in mid-2019 at the new Polestar Production Centre, which is nearing completion. The first full year of production has already sold out, with 200 cars currently destined for North American customers.
The brand’s second car, Polestar 2, will be the company’s first full battery electric vehicle and is designed to compete with Tesla Model 3. The Polestar 2 will be revealed early in 2019, with production starting a year later.