Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath sees tenfold sales growth by 2025

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How do you address the risks created by Polestar’s heavy reliance on production in China, which has strained trade relations with the US?

The image you draw is from today. Going forward, we’ll have US production in South Carolina, starting with the Polestar 3. As our lineup grows, we’ll go to Europe, because we want to have production in all three major regions. Therefore, we will not end up being dependent on China with our production.

Volvo builds the Polestar 1 at a factory in Chengdu, China, and the Polestar 2 in Luqiao. Would you consider assembling the two models in the same plant to maximize efficiency?

We don’t put all our cars in one factory because with our business model, we go where that architecture is already in production. We see this as something beneficial because it doesn’t matter that the Polestar 3 is in another factory because it is not an additional investment for us.

If it goes alongside Volvo’s future electric flagship SUV in Charleston, that’s fine. We simply follow where the architecture of the car is produced. We just have to make sure that the technology we need is implemented in that factory and that it is possible to put our car there.

What impact has the chip crisis had on Polestar?

We have some influence due to the size of our company. Everyone understands that we are in an important growth phase and that we are now very dependent on one product (the Polestar 2). That means we don’t have the opportunity to maneuver between different products and plants.

Polestar intends to sell 65,000 cars this year, compared to 29,000 in 2021. It has the chip crisis forced you to consider adjusting your goal?

When we set the target for 2022, we did so with chip shortages in mind. Until now, we had no reason to adjust our outlook lower, but who knows how bad things will get.

With Volvo going fully electric, how will Polestar set itself apart?

The aim of the Polestar range is to be sportier and more driver-focused. Even if it’s an SUV like the Polestar 3, it’ll have a sleek silhouette, which means less emphasis on cargo space and more emphasis on propulsion. It will also have a more daring design. I have always said that a Volvo should not provoke people. It must have a very high acceptance by each and every one of the customer profiles. A Polestar will be more progressive and cutting-edge; therefore, he will not be loved by everyone, but he will address his fans.

How is your current strategic plan different from what you was when you and your companions were create the company?

When we started the plan, the US was basically nowhere when it came to EVs, and all of a sudden it’s grown into a widely accepted market. Since we planned to be in the US from the beginning, we were able to adapt very quickly to the change, which has allowed us to quickly grow from four Polestar Spaces to 25.

In Europe, the first seven markets we picked have been participating very well in strong EV growth there. And when we started, China wasn’t that far ahead of the other markets when it came to premium electric cars.

The United States has been a pleasant surprise for Polestar. Has that led to any changes in your marketing strategy??

Our approach has changed a lot in the US. The biggest sign of how much came in the fall of 2021 when we switched our advertising to national distribution. Before, it was always concentrated in places where we saw or anticipated a great acceptance of electric vehicles. This shows that EVs are no longer a regional or local issue in the US. It has a much broader reach and appeal.

Volvo wants all global sales support to be online by 2025. Polestar already uses the Web for all sales. How many of these are actually online and what percentage is done in one of your Polestar Spaces or pop-up stores?

This would imply a very strict separation between the two, but that was never our idea. What we know is that the test drive is a super important element for everyone. Therefore, it is a fact that you must offer the customer the opportunity to have some contact with the product. This happens mainly in a polar star space.

What we also found is that the vast majority of customers have no problem doing financing and other aspects of the deal on their mobile device. If you need additional help, you can get it through online chat or by going to a Polestar Space. Cases where a customer does everything at a Polestar Space, including buying or leasing the car there, are very rare.

Will your retail model change from having mostly urban showrooms once the higher volume Polestar 3 arrives?

This is already happening. In the US last year, we went from four to 25 Polestar Spaces. This will definitely accelerate with the increase in volume that will come with the arrival of Polestar 3. It’s happening in every country where we’re active as we move from being in the big capitals to the next wave of locations.

Do you see an indication that interest in electric vehicles is growing beyond the main cities where Polestar operates?

yes An example showing that electric vehicles are gaining wider acceptance came this summer when we opened a pop-up charging station as a kind of promotional event. We decided to put it halfway between Stockholm and Gothenburg.

The first day we opened, all the test drives were done. These were local people in the middle of nowhere who would never have gone to Stockholm and Gothenburg for a test drive, but were happy to test drive an EV when we reached out to them.

That clearly gave me an indication that there is a certain group of customers that will be open to the brand once they are approached.

Polestar has a lot of work to do to reach its 2025 goal, right?

yes By then we want to grow to 290,000. It is very clear that a lot has to happen in the next few years to achieve such volume. We will expand into more markets and increase the size of our lineup by adding the Polestar 3, 4 and 5. This will give us a product portfolio with two SUVs (Polestar 3 and 4) and two fastback sedans (Polestar 2 and 5). ).

The switch from combustion engines to electrification will help us. I imagine this will continue to increase, causing a snowball effect. The more electric vehicles circulate, the more people will be exposed to them and the more the infrastructure will grow. That will be a good dynamic in this field.

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