Polestar quits peak Australian motoring body in alliance with Tesla

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Accusing the organisation of making public misrepresentations and ignoring the interests of some of its members, Polestar has left the FCAI – becoming the second electric-car brand to quit the lobby group in less than 24 hours.


Less than 24 hours after Tesla quit, electric car brand Polestar has also renounced its membership with the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) – the peak lobby group made up of the major automotive brands in Australia.

In a letter addressed to the FCAI, Polestar expressed its disappointment in the organisation’s commentary against the proposed emissions regulations put forward by the Federal Government, known as the New Vehicle Efficiency Standard (NVES).

“The brand cannot in good faith continue to allow its membership fees to fund a campaign designed to deliberately slow the car industry’s contribution to Australia’s emissions reduction potential,” Polestar Australia boss Samantha Johnson wrote.

“Such a campaign is not aligned with Polestar’s focus, and we cannot support it.”

Polestar accuses the FCAI of “cherry-[picking]” figures to “progress the position of only some members”.

In recent weeks, the FCAI provided information to media outlets following the publication of the NVES proposal, claiming the regulations would result in the prices of utes and SUVs increasing by as much as $13,250, while electric cars such as the Tesla Model 3 would be almost $16,000 cheaper – an assertion Tesla strongly denied.

“The FCAI purports to represent the automotive industry. Tesla is an FCAI member and is represented on the Board of Directors,” Tesla wrote in a letter to the FCAI this week.

“An Australian consumer would reasonably conclude that the FCAI has knowledge and authority in claiming that Tesla vehicles will be discounted under NVES as claimed. Yet these figures are falsehoods, produced without Tesla’s knowledge or approval.”

Tesla has also referred the FCAI to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on suspicion of being involved in price implementation strategies between competitive car companies.

Polestar, quoting modelling conducted by The Grattan Institute, suggests new-car prices may increase by an average of 1 per cent – while reducing fuel and maintenance costs for owners.

“Consequently, Polestar Australia intends to cease its membership of the FCAI, with this letter being notice of its resignation as a member in accordance with clause 14.1(a) of the Constitution of the FCAI,” the letter reads.

“When the FCAI commits to representing all voices in the automotive industry, fairly, Polestar will consider returning as a full member.”

Drive understands Polestar will no longer provide data to FCAI as part of the monthly new-car industry sales reporting, known as VFACTS – with the company to investigate alternative reporting avenues.

Drive has contacted the FCAI for comment and this story will be updated with its response.

MORE:Search Used Polestar Cars for Sale
MORE:Search Used Polestar Cars for Sale
Ben Zachariah

Ben Zachariah is an experienced writer and motoring journalist from Melbourne, having worked in the automotive industry for more than two decades. Ben began writing professionally more than 15 years ago and was previously an interstate truck driver. He completed his MBA in Finance in early 2021 and is considered an expert on classic car investment.

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