Polestar: We’re not competing with Tesla - SUV VEHICLE

Polestar: We’re not competing with Tesla


Volvo-affiliated Polestar says it is running a different race to Tesla, with more expensive electric cars aimed at “luxury” customers.

Chinese-owned electric car maker Polestar has distanced its aspirations from competing with Tesla, as the US specialist cuts its prices with the goal to topple Toyota as the world’s top-selling car maker.

When Polestar was spun off from Volvo in 2017, it openly said its first electric car – the 2020 Polestar 2 – was “joining the competition around the Tesla Model 3“, and that it would “vividly compete with [Tesla] in the market.”

However Tesla’s pursuit of sales volume – including aggressive price cuts, leading it to 1.8 million deliveries last year – has set it on a different course to Polestar, which sells more expensive cars closer in aim to BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and its sibling, Volvo.

Its latest model, the Polestar 4 SUV, is priced from $81,500 plus on-road costs – or up to $140,000 drive-away for the flagship model with every option box ticked – compared to $65,400 to $91,400 plus on-roads for the similarly-sized Tesla Model Y.

“From a global perspective … I’m not here to comment on Tesla, but Tesla is … chasing volume,” Graeme Lambert, global communications executive for Design, Innovation and APAC (Asia-Pacific) at Polestar, told select Australian media including Drive.

“They are a mass-market production player. We are a premium luxury brand with volume targets that are in line with that.

“So whereas Tesla is making millions of cars, we’ve never said we would do millions of cars. We’re talking … [as a brand] 150,000 global sales as a target for next year, for example.”

Mr Lambert said the target for the Polestar 4 – predicted to be among the company’s top sellers – is the new electric Porsche Macan, which is priced from $133,700 plus on-road costs.

“If you look at it from a segment perspective, you might say that [Model Y is a rival for Polestar 4],” he said.

“But I guess the target for us would be something like [the] Porsche Macan EV – a coupe SUV now pure electric. That would definitely be where we are looking, rather than Tesla.”

The headline feature of the Polestar 4 is its lack of a rear window, which the executive said is “not a gimmick … to grab headlines”, but is designed to lower the roofline of the car while retaining ample headroom for rear passengers.

Polestar reported 54,600 new-vehicle deliveries in 2023, a 6 per cent increase over 2022 – but down on its target of 60,000, itself revised down from an original projection of 80,000 sales.

After reporting a $US735 million ($AU1.1 billion) from the first nine months of 2023, Polestar expects to sell 155,000 to 165,000 vehicles in 2025 as the Polestar 3 and Polestar 4 ramp-up following delays.

Meanwhile Tesla reported 1.81 million global deliveries in 2023, but has warned 2024 sales may not be able to match the 38 per cent year-on-year growth observed last year.

Earlier this year Volvo – itself set to go electric-only by 2030 – announced it would not commit any new funding to Polestar, and would sell the majority of its share in the firm to China’s Geely – the parent company of both brands.

Shortly after, Polestar secured $US950 million ($AU1.46 billion) in external funding, though it is short of the $US1.3 billion ($AU2 billion) it said it would require to secure its future.

Polestar now sits on the same level as Volvo in the Geely group – rather than managed by Volvo, which is a Geely subsidiary itself – though there remain strong ties between the brands in research, development, technology and after-sales support.

In Australia, Polestars are serviced at a selection of Volvo dealers – though the vehicles are sold through stand-alone Polestar showrooms.

The post Polestar: We’re not competing with Tesla appeared first on Drive.


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