Polestar announces US retail locations
Polestar has announced their first retail partners for the US market, which will help Volvo’s plug-in brand to set up a network of so-called Polestar Spaces in New York and Los Angeles as well as San Francisco this year.
Retailer groups Manhattan Motorcars, Galpin Motors and Price-Simms Automotive Group will collaborate with Polestar to set up initial locations in the first three cities in the second half of 2020. In 2021, Boston, Denver, Texas, Washington DC and Florida will follow as the Geely-owned brand expands its store reach.
The approach of the Polestar Space retail strategy is one that is becoming popular in the EV industry and follows Tesla in essence. However, Volkswagen also just opened their first ID. Store in Germany. The concept is quite simple: dealerships will act more as information centres, while any actual purchasing happens online.
For Polestar, following the purchase of the electric car, customers within 150 miles of the retail location can opt for home delivery. At the same time, Polestar adds that for those that don’t, the company would “work with consumers to find the most convenient way to purchase and service its electric vehicles.” The reason for this strategy is mostly practical and follows initial demand. Analysis of the pre-orders has shown this would work for a vast majority of customers, as Gregor Hembrough, head of Polestar USA explains: “With more than 80% of Polestar 2 reservation holders residing within a 150-mile range of the Spaces scheduled to open by mid-2021, customers will be well supported throughout their relationship with Polestar.”
The launch comes just in time for the Polestar 2 coming to the USA. Prices here start at 59,900 US dollars and the battery-electric car qualifies for the federal tax credit of 7,500 dollars. The Polestar 2 sits on the CMA platform and features a 300 kW electric motor that can achieve 660 Nm of torque. While an official EPA rating is not yet out, according to the WLTP standard, the range was found to be 292 miles (470 km).
Launch options for customers in the USA include the performance hybrid GT Polestar 1, and the now, of course, the Polestar 2. Besides, the recently presented concept Precept shows some of the future ideas and direction Polestar’s electric vehicle development will likely follow.
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Between the 27% US tariffs causing an inflated price, and not living in a launch city, I’ll be cancelling my pre order for the Polestar 2. I live 115 miles from the closest “space”, but that means Polestar will have to flatbed my car not only to deliver it, but for every instance that the car needs maintenance or service. I can’t imagine the hassle involved if my car has a problem, a squeak, rattle, broken door handle, etc…they would have to come to my house, flatbed the car, drive it 115 miles to a service space, then 115 miles back. Customer Service confirmed to me this is how it would work, at least until there was a Space in my city, which they couldn’t guarantee. And they were very cagey on whether or not I would get a loaner car each time. With this being my only car, this whole setup is unacceptable. Combine all of that with the fact that the launch price in Canada is $49,775 US equivalent, means you’d be paying way more in the US for a 1st Gen car that will have a unique and unproven service model that simply isn’t sustainable. I can only imagine how frustrated customers will be if they had to deal with this every time for service, or were on a road trip and needed service but weren’t within 150 miles of one of the 3 launch cities. Polestar really botched the US launch. I was so excited for this car but just can’t justify it given these 2 current issues.