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Polestar set to double UK locations as its electric car sales climb

Polestar logo 2017

Electric car brand Polestar expects to at least double its UK sales volume by the end of 2022 as the brand continues to win over EV buyers.

It is set to expand its small network of Polestar Space showrooms to four this autumn, opening at Battersea in London, and UK chief executive Jonathan Goodman told AM its physical footprint would double further to eight locations by the end of 2023.

Expansion will include its first location in Scotland.

Goodman said "a clear sign of the momentum building behind the brand" is its 22,000 deliveries globally in the first half 2022, which compares with a full year 2021 result of 29,000 units.

Global order take for 2022 has reached above 50,000 (a 350% year-on-year).

In the UK Polestar registrations totalled 2,828 units in H1 2022, a 72% increase on H1 2021.

Asked if that volume will be doubled by the end of 2022, Goodman said "that would be a fair assumption" and he "would be very hopeful that that is the case". 

The Polestar 3 electric SUV (pictured) goes on sale in October, with UK deliveries in 2023. 

Currently one in eight Polestar cars built comes to the UK, however the brand has increased the number of countries where its cars are now sold since the start of the year.

Goodman said he doesn't fear that the UK's sales opportunity will be constrained by Polestar's expansion into other countries, as demand for EVs in the UK is increasing quickly so it provides a great opportunity and a second shift of workers has been added at Polestar's assembly plant in China, so global supply volumes will ramp up accordingly.

"If you're asking would I like some more cars, yes of course I would.

"You'll see it's the end of January now being quoted for deliveries, and I love to be able to quote people a shorter lead time than that, but we're on a great growth curve in the UK, our order book is fantastic, and our job is to accelerate that."

Polestar's launch plan was always to start with 10 markets (US, Canada, China, and seven European countries including the UK) and grow from there; it is now in 25 countries and will increase to 30 in 2023.

Its global ambition is to reach 290,000 annual sales in 2025, and Polestar recently floated on the New York Stock Exchange.

"Globally there are 55,000 Polestars on the road; in the UK there are around 7,600 on the road, and to come from a standing start (in 2020) to that is great," Goodman (pictured) said.

He added that Polestar's success in the UK is a credit to his team, a reflection on the professionalism of its retail partners, and a relection of the appetite of UK motorists for EVs.

He said many Polestar customers are new to EV, and some come from German premium brands and others from mainstream brand. Some have already owned an EV, however.

Digital marketing, event marketing and test-drive tours are driving up awareness of Polestar, he said, as are the investors running the existing Polestar Spaces in Manchester, Solihull and Westfield London Shopping Centre.Inside a Polestar Space

"We know that when we get someone into the car they come away impressed," he added.

Staff at test-drive events and Polestar Spaces are not incentivised to sell, as all transactions are made online directly with Polestar UK, so Goodman is confident that consumers get a no-pressure experience where they can learn about the brand and its electric cars.

This month Polestar UK brought its customer service function in-house, adding 21 more staff to the company's 24-strong existing team.

It had been outsourced while the business found its feet.

"As a direct to consumer business you absolutely want to have those people working on contracts with you," he said.

If customers are ringing in and talking directly to Polestar employees then Goodman and his team can hear feedback quickly and react rapidly, he said.

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