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Electric Car Brand Polestar Announces Plans for a Subscription Service & ‘Polestar Spaces'

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【Summary】At a event in New York, Polestar Performance AB announced details of how it will sell and market its electric vehicles—the Polestar 1 and Polestar 2. Polestar is the new performance luxury electric brand of Volvo Cars, wholly owned by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co.

FutureCar Staff    Sep 20, 2018 6:50 PM PT
Electric Car Brand Polestar Announces Plans for a Subscription Service & ‘Polestar Spaces'
resource from: Bloomberg   

In the era of online shopping, subscription services and on-demand ride hailing, people no longer have to stress about visiting a car dealer to haggle over the price of their new car. Major automakers, such as Mercedes Benz and BMW are already experimenting with subscription plans as an alternative to personal ownership and luxury electric automaker Polestar plans to follow this lead.

At a event in New York, Polestar Performance AB announced details of how it will sell and market its electric vehicles—the Polestar 1 and Polestar 2. Polestar is the new performance luxury electric brand of Volvo Cars, wholly owned by China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co.

The electric car brand looking to take on Tesla. The company first car the Polestar 1 is a carbon fiber, high-performance sports car that combines a combustion engine with three electric motors for for increased power and handling. Polestar claims the 1 will have around 600 horsepower. The car is not a mass-market car and will be priced around $150,000 to buy. However, it will be available as a subscription.

The 1 will be followed by a more affordable model— the Polestar 2, which will compete against the Tesla Model 3. The Polestar 2 will have an electric powertrain delivering 400 hp and about a 350 mile range. The 2 will start at $40,000.

Polestar plans for its retail model will be less like leasing or car-sharing and more like that of Netflix, with customers choosing from an all-inclusive subscription plan that combines insurance and maintenance into a single monthly payment. No money will be required as a down payment.  

No Pressure Sales Environment

Retail spaces planned for North America will be no-commission "Polestar Spaces" where buyers can evaluate the cars in real life without feeling pressure to buy from salespeople. Consumers will also be able to research, configure, and purchase the Polestar vehicles online at any time.

The sales model is similar to Tesla's boutique stores that pop up in trendy neighborhoods, rather than using traditional car showrooms, dealerships and commissioned salespeople.

"Within the time of getting to know the brand there comes a time when you want to go and touch and feel it," Thomas Ingenlath, the global CEO of Polestar, said Thursday in New York. "That's where the spaces come into the picture. You can get a physical representation of the car."

The retail model is very much like an Apple store, where customer can go to touch and try out the products without any pressure to buy. Since Polestar employees will not be paid commissions it won't matter to them whether the customer buys the car online or in a store.

"That gives them the freedom in mind to be a partner in trying to give consumers the best experience," said Ingenlath to Bloomberg, who worked for years in the design sector for Volkswagen Group.

He added, "It's not all about selling Apple products there. Nobody is pushing them, ‘Get that thing now!' Nobody likes that. At the end of the day you may go home and buy online, but that doesn't matter to Apple, either."

Polestar North America plans to open its first retail space in New York City in late 2019 or early 2020, with additional "Spaces" in Canada soon to follow.

"At the moment the talks for the retail space has most progressed here in New York—finding the right location, getting a contract together that both sides agree on," Ingenlath said.

According to Bloomberg, representatives from Volvo's electric performance brand also said they have also been meeting with 60 retailers worldwide to represent Polestar, with shops in each of the first markets to open in time for deliveries of its hybrid and electric coupes.

resource from: Bloomberg

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