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Electric Brand Polestar Opening New ‘Polestar Spaces' in China as it Prepares to Compete with Tesla

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【Summary】Electric performance car brand Polestar its expanding its retail presence in China as the company looks to compete with U.S. electric automaker Tesla in the world’s biggest auto market. Polestar plans to open around 20 “Polestar Spaces” where prospective owners can check out the company’s electric vehicles up close and in a zero pressure environment.

FutureCar Staff    Jun 02, 2020 3:25 PM PT
Electric Brand Polestar Opening New ‘Polestar Spaces' in China as it Prepares to Compete with Tesla
The fully-electric Polestar 2.

Electric performance car brand Polestar its expanding its retail presence in China as the company looks to compete with U.S. electric automaker Tesla in the world's biggest auto market with its Polestar 2 EV.

The Polestar brand is jointly owned by Swedish automaker Volvo and Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding (Geely). The automaker is based in Gothenburg, Sweden and its being positioned as a new standalone performance electric car brand operated by Volvo. Geely is the parent company of Swedish automaker Volvo. 

Polestar plans to open around 20 "Polestar Spaces" where prospective owners can check out the company's electric vehicles up close and in a zero pressure environment, Reuters reports. 

The Polestar Spaces more closely resemble a trendy retail store rather than a traditional car dealer showroom. Customers can visit the Spaces to learn more about the vehicles, then complete the transition on Polestar's website or from the Polestar app. 

Polestar's sales model is similar to Tesla's boutique stores that are often found in upscale shopping areas, rather than using traditional dealer showrooms, and commissioned salespeople. The Spaces will be staffed with knowledgeable Polestar product experts that can answer any questions about the vehicles.

The spaces will also facilitate test drives for Polestar vehicles.

As Chinese EV startups look to compete with Tesla in their home country, building trendy showrooms in upscale shopping districts is becoming an important way to market their new electric vehicles, as well as promote their advanced technology and unique ownership experience.

The first mass market offering from Polestar is the Polestar 2 fastback, which was revealed in 2019. The Polestar 2 is the company's first fully-electric, higher volume premium car that's positioned to rival the Tesla Model 3. The Polestar 2 starts at $59,900.

In the future, the Polestar 3 will join the portfolio as a fully-electric performance SUV. 

The company began building the Polestar 2 earlier this year in China. The EV will also be sold in the U.S. and Europe. The first deliveries of the Polestar 2 are set to begin in China next month. However, Polestar currently has just one showroom in Beijing.

Polestar will partner with investors to build and operate the showrooms while still managing sales and delivery of cars, said the people who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity as the plan is not yet public. This indicates that in some locations, third parties will market the vehicles, while Polestar will take care of the logistics, such as shipping it to the customer.

Screen Shot 2020-06-02 at 6.21.48 PM.png

Polestar Spaces allow potential customers learn more about the electric vehicles, such as the high-performance brake setup.

Polestar, along with new Chinese EV startups Nio and Xpeng Motors, is mirroring electric automaker Tesla's sales model. NIO is widely considered to be the "Tesla of China" and like Tesla, operates smaller retail showrooms to market its vehicles.

Without a network of dealerships, Tesla has over 50 showrooms in China, while Nio currently operates around 110 showrooms, with some of the properties belonging to third party partners. Xpeng Motors plans to have over 200 outlets by the end of the year from about 150, many of them will be operated by partners as well.

NIO's sales model includes "NIO Houses." In January, Wei Jian, Vice President of User Operations of NIO, shared the company's plans to market and sell its vehicles in 57 Chinese cities, and plans to expand the total number of retail showrooms from 77 to about 200 by the end of 2020.

The first of the new Polestar Spaces will open in Shanghai. From there, new locations will open in coastal Ningbo, northern Tianjin and southern Guangzhou. The showrooms will mostly be located in shopping malls.

The Polestar brand officially launched in 2017 with the Polestar 1, a limited production electric Performance Hybrid GT supercar with 609 horsepower and an all-electric range of 77 miles, the longest of any hybrid car in the world. 

In April, Polestar shared details about its Precept electric sedan, a car that might rival the likes of the Tesla Model S, Porsche Taycan and BMW i4 electric sedan.

The Polestar Precept was created to showcase three key areas for the Swedish brand, which include sustainability, digital technology and cutting edge design. Like the Polestar 2, the Precept signifies an important milestone for Polestar as a standalone electric brand.

Last week, Polestar announced that the first Polestar Spaces in the U.S. will open in New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Polestar said they will open by the end of the year.

resource from: Reuters

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