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Polestar Plans to Increase Global Presence from 9 to 18 Countries in 2021

When someone tells you they will double anything, you have to ask: “Compared to what?” If you are talking about 1 or 2 things, doubling may not take that much effort. This is why Polestar announcing it will double its global presence and retailer locations deserves context: it will sell cars in 18 countries instead of 9 and will have 100 retailers instead of… who knows? Polestar did not inform that number.
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The company could also double its lineup, but it will instead divide it in half when the Polestar 1 production ends. That will leave customers only with the Polestar 2 until the Polestar 3 starts to be manufactured in Ridgeville by the end of 2022. It is for that sole vehicle that the current effort is being carried out.

Another example that doubling is not that easy is that Polestar has 650 service points nowadays. If it were to double that by the end of 2021, it would have 1,300 places where Polestar owners could take their cars. Instead, it expects to “exceed 780” by that time.

Even with retailer location expansion, the numbers are not that easy to determine. To reach the 100 spots it wants to have by the end of 2021, Polestar will use “temporary pop-up locations.” They may sell vehicles, but they are not precisely a retailer, with the same structure one would demand.

The Swedish brand also insists it has a digital sales model, but that is equivalent to saying that the Toyota Prius is an electric car. Both are hybrids: Polestar needs to have physical dealers responsible for deliveries. That is what allows it to escape the same hindrances Tesla faces with its pure digital sales model.

Volkswagen uses the “agency model” to sell its electric vehicles. There’s a dealership in charge of every delivery that gets a cut in the sale. Prices are the same with any dealer, and customers can order their cars online, which gives them the impression that they are buying directly from the manufacturer. That is not the case. Polestar follows a similar model.

That said, it is nice to know that the company will be available for more customers worldwide. Even if it triples the number of countries where it sells in 2022, many buyers will still be left with no way to buy the Polestar 2 and the Polestar 3. For a young brand that could just sell through Volvo dealerships but decided to be independent from the get-go, Polestar is doing quite well.


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