...and gains something that sets is apart from Volvo...
Polestar has opened their factory in Chengdu, China to begin production of the Polestar 1. The factory was designed to achieve a Gold status LEED certification.
The Polestar 1 is a luxury hybrid coupe that boasts over 600 horsepower and 1,000 nm (738 lb-ft) of torque and an electric only range of 93 miles. It is a limited production run of 500 vehicles per year and most of the early allocations are sold out.
One other announcement came with the factory press release. Polestar has filed for and received their World Manufacturing Identifier, basically their character in the VIN that identifies them. This means that Polestar manufactured vehicles will not have a Volvo VIN but a Polestar VIN instead. Polestar will still apply their performance technology know-how to higher performance Volvos.
The Polestar brand, a sub-brand of Volvo, is launching in the U.S. this fall. The first vehicle, the Polestar 1 is a 600 horsepower plug-in hybrid coupe, and if you have not already signed up for one, you are too late, the US allotment is already sold.
The bigger player for Polestar is the Polestar 2 (pictured above), a 5 door fastback electric vehicle with 408 horsepower and 275 mile range. The Polestar 2 is based on Volvo's CMA platform that is used under the the Volvo XC40 crossover. It will be built in China at the beginning of 2020 and arriving in dealerships in Q2. Polestar 2 is the vehicle expected to define the brand going forward.
Later, for 2022, the Polestar 3 will arrive using the next generation of the SPA platform that is used under all Volvo's except the XC40. It will be a crossover coupe, but no word yet on the choice of power.
Polestar hopes to be selling more than 100,000 units a year globally in 5 to 7 years.
You'll be able to check out Polestar vehicles at 'Spaces'
Polestar has revealed new details as to how it plans on selling their vehicles in the U.S. As we have previously reported, Polestar will be using an online system for customers to do research, configure, and order their vehicle. They'll also have the choice of either purchasing a vehicle outright or doing a subscription model where insurance and maintenance is covered in the payment.
But as Thomas Ingenlath, CEO of Polestar admits in a statement, "many people want to physically see a car before ordering." That's where Polestar Spaces come into play. These will be franchised by dealers and allow customers to check out the cars and learn more from product information specialists - not working on commission. The spaces will also handle servicing of the vehicles, although customers won't need to drop their vehicles off. Using a smartphone app, customers will be able to schedule a pickup for servicing. Once completed, Polestar will drop the vehicle back off.
According to Car and Driver, Polestar will open their first space in New York City in late 2019 or early 2020. Nine more spaces will follow: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas or Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.
Source: Car and Driver, Polestar
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.
Polestar is beginning to drop hints on their next model, the 2 which is expected to debut sometime next year.
Autocar spoke with Polestar COO Jonathan Goodman at this weekend's Goodwood Festival of Speed. Goodman said the Polestar 2 will be the brand's entry level model and compete directly with the Tesla Model 3.
"That will represent the lower ‘bookend’ of our showroom range and, for now, it should give us as much access to the volume end of the EV market as we need," said Goodman.
Autocar says the 2's design will closely follow the 40.2 concept shown a couple years back. The report also says that the 2 will have up to 400 horsepower and a max range of 350 miles. Pricing is expected to begin around £30,000 (about $39,690).
Goodman also talked about the possible dangers of designing electric vehicles to look futuristic or quirky considering how much the global market for these vehicles is expected to grow.
“The global electric car market was worth four million units in 2017, but it’s quite widely expected to be worth 29m units by 2025. EV owners will come from all walks of life. So it’s a mistake to assume that, because the cars are electric, you have to make them quirky or futuristic," explained Goodman.
"Other brands may be doing that, but if we’re looking at a market worth 30m cars within seven years, it isn’t going to be niche, it’s going to be mainstream. So you just design a great-looking car – not one with a big blue flash down the side.”
Seems strange even to me to think of Merc in its own store.
We've all probably seen claims which portray older generations as a lot tougher than more recent ones.
In a lot of ways I believe that's true (for better or worse). Anyway, I thought of that when I happened upon this pic from 1936 :