Electric sports car brand Polestar has said that it will deliver “a new approach to automotive retail” with the opening of 60 Polestar Space retail spaces by 2020.
Promoting a format that sees metropolitan sites across the globe staffed by a zero-commission workforce to prevent any evidence of the “hard sell”, Volvo’s new performance brand will rely wholly on online sales to gain market traction.
However, existing Volvo franchisees are currently being offered the opportunity to operate a Polestar Space, a spokesman for the brand told AM. He said: "We are currently in dialogue with a number of existing Volvo dealer operators to gauge their interest to run a Polestar Space.
"This will be a standalone facility, independently located away from the Volvo retailer in an in-town location of 200 to 300sqm, with a complete Polestar brand experience."
Adding further detail about the business model set to be put n place by the Polestar brand, the spokesman added: "All of the aftersales work for Polestar cars will be undertaken by the Volvo retailer and in the Volvo workshops. Because all Polestar cars will be offered with Collection and Delivery servicing as standard, the customer will never visit the Volvo retailer but they have the reassurance that the car is being maintained by fully trained and experienced technicians."
Set to arrive in the UK with the launch of the Polestar 1 hybrid coupe – a vehicle producing 592bhp from a two-litre turbo engine and electric motors on the rear axle – customers of the Polestar brand can already place a £1,900 deposit to secure the order of the £135,500 car.
Polestar said that over 6,000 potential customer had expressed an interest in the brand globally and it expects to produce 500 Polestar 1s each year once fully up to speed.
For those customers who have yet to engage with the brand, however, Polestar Spaces will provide an environment, aligned to high street tech retailers, in which to do so.
Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar’s chief executive, said: “Polestar will be a fully digital brand, but a Polestar Space is where customers will be able to come into direct contact with us.
“In a Polestar Space, they’ll meet and interact with a Polestar brand and product expert, see the engineering under the skin as well as be able to take a test drive.
“A visit to a Polestar Space will be a very different experience to today’s typical car dealership.
“We aim to surprise and delight our customers, removing the hassle that comes with traditional car ownership.
“As the customer will order the car online, they won’t experience hard-sell, commission-based salespeople in a Polestar Space. Our customers will never feel pressure to sign a contract.
“Polestar is a multi-channel brand which is why it must be supported by a unique retail experience – one which embodies the Polestar philosophy in every way.”
Polestar said that the location of the first Polestar Space retail environment will be confirmed soon and when it opens, it “will bring a new approach to automotive retail”.
It added that Polestar Spaces will be environments where customers will be able to physically interact with the modern digital brand in major metropolitan centres, typically in the company of other innovative brands.
Components such as wheels and carbon-fibre sections will stand alone to exhibit their own unique design attributes.
Material finishes including paint colours and interior leather samples will also be presented in a unique context.
Ingenlath: “By the middle of 2020, we aim to have opened up to 60 Spaces around the world to support the key launch markets for the brand.
“As we progress, we will open Spaces in more locations to support our retail development, making the brand more accessible with the opening of each new Space.”