Polestar looks to turn curiosity into cash
GENEVA -- Polestar soon will learn whether the buzz surrounding its debut model will translate into strong demand from paying customers.
Showing the production-spec version of the Polestar 1 for the first time here Tuesday, the performance brand born out of Volvo Cars said it will begin taking $3,083 deposits for the vehicle March 13.
"To date, we have received interest from over 6,000 potential customers wanting the Polestar 1, a number which began gathering momentum from the moment the car was revealed," said Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath. "With our current plans to produce 500 cars per year, it's possible that we have exceeded our production potential in these early stages."
Polestar launched as a standalone brand in October, showing the Polestar 1 at a media event in Shanghai. The 600-hp hybrid 2+2-seat plug-in hybrid coupe will have about 150km (93 miles) of electric range and will primarily be available via subscription. Deliveries of the coupe will begin in 2019.
As interest in the car continues to grow, Ingenlath said last month last month the originally planned 500-unit-per-year output could increase based on demand.
Polestar will produce its vehicles out of a factory in Chengdu, China, which began construction in November. The company said the plant is on track to begin tooling and preproduction by the end of this year.
Though the automaker has been able to drum up interest in the past five months, it's unclear what the level of demand is for a plug-in hybrid performance vehicle. Whether the current hand-raisers are serious about buying the car would help define what could become a new segment.
"If you're looking for mass adoption, hybrids are probably the better way to go," said Dave Sullivan, an analyst at AutoPacific. "It doesn't have to be a Prius, it can be a hybrid that's more performance-oriented. EVs are still a niche product, this will have a better potential for sales success."
Polestar is also planning two upcoming all-electric vehicles for mass production: the Polestar 2 sedan which will begin production by the end of 2019, and the Polestar 3 crossover.