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Here's how Polestar comes after Tesla



Photo: Polestar

Polestar 1

is a hybrid sports car priced as a supercar, at $ 155,000; Polestar 2 is an all-electric sedan priced as a Tesla Model 3, starting at $ 45,000. Polestar 2 (who debuted this morning) is also cool as hell. Should Tesla be a little worried? Yes, Tesla should be a little worried.

Of course, Polestar is owned by Volvo, even owned by Geely. After a little twist in the 2000s, Volvo could have found the same situation as now-defunct Saab, which declared bankruptcy in 2011. Instead, Geely acquired the company, and has completely revitalized the Swedish brand, with Volvo selling over 600,000 cars last year , a record for them. The company also opened a large new production facility in South Carolina, a well-timed move given Trump's trade war.

Volvo completed its rebirth by building good cars, and by doing the opposite of what Elon Musk has done with Tesla, the business builds its quiet and not with much fanfare. Do you know who Volvo's CEO is? You do not, because Håkan Samuelsson, with 3,690 followers like this writes does not release his time on Twitter. (You can claim that Elon's Twitter presence can be a good thing – he has often responded to valid customer complaints, for example, and it's free advertising for Tesla but his Twitter use has also got him in deep trouble with the SEC, seen He calls a Thai cave rescued a "pedo", and at one point even Nazis had thought he had the dog to them, so the argument is becoming increasingly difficult to do.

Volvo's interior is also the finest in business, deserving reputation For security, the XC60 and XC90 have made go-tos for wealthy people with families.

Which brings me to Polestar, Volvo's performance arm, its version of AMG or TRD. Polestar 1 is set to reach customers this year, with Polestar 2 following once. Only 500 Polestar 1s will be produced, with all 200 examples for North America already spoken for. However, Polestar 2 will be the mass market, with 400 horsepower, a sedan aimed at Tesla Model 3 customers.

The starting price of $ 45,000 is the biggest indication that Polestar is coming down to the business, as Tesla has said that base model 3 will start at $ 35,000, but has not actually sold any at that price, but instead sells the higher price so far. performance versions.

Furthermore, Polestar will adopt a unique reseller model in the United States without inventory, no service center, just a small showroom and some representatives. That means Polestar dealers have to invest just over half a million dollars to open a "dealer", as opposed to ten times that or more to open a more conventional dealer. As something Tesla does, but Polestar dealers will not all be owned by the company, like Tesla.

From Automotive News:

Polestar will run stores from 2000 to 2500 square meters – referred to as "spaces" – in high traffic urban areas, such as downtown districts, development opportunities, and shopping malls.

"We want to make sure our retail partners have a high throughput," [Polestar North American boss Hembrough] said in choosing store locations. "High throughput obviously means high profitability."

A lower retail should also help with the reseller's profitability.

"There is not much that is being asked for dealers regarding corporate identity or development," said Hembrough.

This strategy is aimed at a larger volvo strategy to shift the way we buy cars, either through a subscription model – like the troubled, but (sorry) innovative Care by Volvo system – or via online sales. Automotive News says that Polestar will offer its cars for sale, lease or subscription, some of a change from Polestar's previous position in the case, as they meant that all the cars would be subscription only.

An important question, something unanswered for now, is whether you want to haggle, since Polestar customers will buy / rent / subscribe to the car online only. Tesla does not seem to let the customers bargain – the price is the price, which Tesla has been able to get rid of for now because the demand has been so great. But will Polestar be the same? It can be. Polestar 1, for example, sold its first round of 500 samples quite quickly.

A Polestar spokesman said there would be no flashy subscription prices, but the company is still sorting out details for buyers and tenants, mostly because the regulations vary from state to state, and Polestar has to go through each of them. . As for the subscription model, Hembrough, the North American Polestar exec, said the first coverage was overblown, partly their error:

"We reinforced subscription as an opportunity," said Hembrough. People "may have gone away with the idea that was the only channel. There is still a misunderstanding in the negotiating network among dealers as well."

Hembrough expects the Polestar 2 sale to have a 70-30 percent division between leasing / subscription and sale.

Volvo's people tell me that Care by Volvo is very attractive to young buyers, and I believe in them, since everyone hates dealers, and I, for one, a millennial myself, prefer to buy stuff online, as opposed to To go into a brick mass and talk to a seller who may or may not know what the hell they are talking about and who can or does not have an ulterior motive.

In other words, Volvo and Polestar are aiming for the product to sell itself. And they can do it right! Especially since the demand for model 3 could have reached the limit, which is Tesla's next real problem.

And Polestar doesn't stop with Polestar 2. Polestar 3, an electric SUV, is next, followed by a crossover and a roadster, the latter car we first learned on Sunday. These promises may sound a bit Elon-esque-Polestar is also building a semi-next ?? – But all we have seen from Polestar is the kind of slow and stable construction that it historically takes to win in the car industry. And the company is backed by Geely, one of the largest car companies in the world, with some of the deepest pockets.

A great advantage that Tesla currently has its Supercharger network of high-speed charging stations, which has rolled out over the US for many years now. Polestar doesn't have any of that kind, but at the very beginning most of these cars are likely to be sold in California, where there is quite a lot of EV infrastructure already. Polestar also has time, as Polestar 1 is a hybrid, and the completely electric Polestar 2 will not be delivered before 2020, and probably later.

I wouldn't be surprised, in other words, if we all woke up tomorrow 20 years older, with Tesla, with his debt, a distant memory, and Polestar taken over the world.


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