Go back a few years and if you were familiar with the Polestar name you’d know it represented Volvo Cars’s attempt to create a performance sub-brand, much like BMW’s M or AMG from Mercedes-Benz. These days though, Polestar is a brand in its own right, but while performance remains part of its DNA, its primary calling card is that it is an all-electric brand.
Having gone on sale in selected markets across Europe over the next few years, Ireland now becomes the 22nd country in which Polestar is sold, with first vehicles due to arrive in July.
For now there is just one model, the Polestar 2, a compact premium fastback type car that is a direct rival to the Tesla Model 3 and BMW’s new i4. The range will soon be expanding though, starting with the Polestar 3, a large SUV model due to be launched before year-end. A mid-sized SUV follows in 2023, while 2024 will see a production version of the sleek and sporty Precept concept car unveiled last year. The original Polestar, the Polestar 1, a plug-in hybrid version of the Volvo S90, is no longer in production.
Underpinning its green credentials, Polestar has committed to building an entirely carbon-neutral car by 2030 through its Polestar 0 project. “Building a car with 0 CO2e means that we must find, and eliminate, every single CO2e emission linked to our supply chain: from mining, material refining and production, to overland and sea transportation, rather than simply planting trees to try to offset carbon emissions. ” said Hans Pehrson, Head of the Polestar 0 project, at its launch last year.
As has been its approach in other markets, Polestar will not be establishing a network of dealerships in Ireland. Instead it is adopting an online sales approach, with all sales and orders being placed via its dedicated website. The company will have one ‘Destination’ site in Dublin, part of the Spirit Motor Group, where potential customers can view and test drive products and speak to non-commission driven brand experts.
Although the brand is otherwise independent from Volvo Cars, Polestar is in the process of signing up Volvo’s dealer network for aftersales and servicing of its products.
Head of Market for Ireland, Kieran Campbell explained that Polestar will be undertaking a series of brand awareness events around the country in the coming weeks, with customers able to place orders via the dedicated website shortly, in time to receive their cars by July. He added that while there are no immediate plans at present to offer a Destination Store outside of Dublin, that would be under review depending on volumes and interest.
With regards to fleet sales, Jonathan Goodman, CEO of Polestar in the UK, said that company car sales there accounted for around 75% of all sales, but expects the opposite to be the case here. He said that the online purchasing model worked well for companies and outlined that the brand’s approach there was not to offer big discounts, but to treat the company car driver the same as a private buyer, rather than as a second rate customer as was the case with some other brands.
Manufactured in China, Polestar is confident that despite production challenges across the automotive industry at present, you shouldn’t have to wait longer than fourteen weeks for delivery of a new Polestar 2 after placing an order, a significantly shorter timeframe than many other manufacturers are offering at present.