Polestar to open CBD stores – GoAutoNews Premium

VOLVO sister car-brand Polestar will open its first CBD store in Melbourne this summer as it expands its national footprint and creates highly-visible touch points with its target potential customers.

The company, which today announced the launch early next year of the Polestar 3 – its second model for Australia – currently has five locations in Australia and nine service centres.

The Melbourne Polestar ‘spaces’ – with its location yet to be announced – will operate as an information and experience centre without traditional sales staff, much like earlier Tesla stores.

It will be followed by stores in other Australian CBDs, with the second expected in the following 18 months in Sydney.

Polestar Australia managing director Samantha Johnson told GoAutoNews Premium that the creation of the ‘spaces’ concept was to introduce the brand to a target market.

“‘Spaces’ stores show who we are as a brand,” she said.

The ‘spaces’ concept was ancillary to the current program of Polestar being available to view and test drive at brand outlets (mostly Volvo dealerships) which Ms Johnson said was “working very well.”

Polestar sales are exclusively online, with assistance and tests held by selected dealers. These dealers would be able to show the cars – currently the Polestar 2 (liftback sedan) but expanding to the 3 (large SUV) next year, the 4 (mid-size SUV) the year after and the 5 (coupe) later. The 6 is a performance coupe-convertible and has recently been confirmed for production.

The brand has sold 700 cars since it launched in Australia earlier this year. Ms Johnson said the sales could have doubled if supply was available, with much of the delay caused by the COVID-related shutdowns in Shanghai where the Australian-market cars are made.

Polestar also operates on a no-haggle, fixed price policy to create a level playing field between dealers and to ensure transparent customer relations.

Ms Johnson said the brand also maintained Australian services, including a local call centre.

“We want to give the best customer experience possible,” she said.

“We want a team (of people) that cares about the customer and about the product. We have not been impressed at all with the quality of overseas call centres so they had to be based here.”

Aside from sales and service, the F&I and leasing business – much of it white labelled from Allied Credit – is also Australian based.

Ms Johnson said about 30 per cent of Polestar 2 owners have leased their cars, with the majority being based in Sydney and Melbourne (30 per cent of total sales each).

By Neil Dowling

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