Certain rivals should pay attention.
It's more challenging than ever for new brands to succeed in the automotive business, and Polestar has been doing nearly everything right. For starters, it's owned by China's Geely and Volvo Cars which provides it with financial security. It's also on the cutting-edge of battery technologies. As for design, one look at the stunning Polestar 1 and Polestar 2 says it all. What more could Polestar want? According to Reuters, Polestar's CEO would like to take the company public.
"The mid- and long-term perspective indeed is to be… open for the stock market and an IPO," CEO Thomas Ingenlath stated on a conference call. "This is indeed one track that is absolutely still on and has not changed" since Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson first mentioned this possibility early last year.
But for now, the focus is entirely on the launch of the Polestar 2 all-electric sedan. As a direct rival to the hot-selling Tesla Model 3, Polestar has a lot to prove here. That's why it's in no rush to issue an IPO, recently done by Fisker and Nikola, two other EV startups who have yet to start building road cars.
"It's not about the short term thinking. We have a long-term ambition," Ingenlath said. "Let's see where we are in a year's time."
Unlike the limited-edition Polestar 1 hybrid grand touring coupe, the Polestar 2 is being built in huge numbers at a new factory in China. For now, this will be the sole production facility as it was designed to handle high demand. Polestar would like to sell more than 50,000 EVs within the first three years, priced from $59,900 in the US, which doesn't include tax incentives.
To compare, the Polestar 1 halo model goes for about $150,000. Clearly the goal now is to get Polestar 2 sales off to a solid start in the US next month. The coronavirus pandemic won't help matters, but it may not hurt as much as it has for other automakers. Like Tesla, Polestar will rely heavily on online sales along with new standalone showrooms.
However, they won't be conventional showrooms, but rather "spaces" set up in pedestrian-friendly areas. Owners will have their cars served at regular Volvo dealerships, but the general buying experience is very much adaptable to today's restrictions.