In a move not likely to surprise the auto industry, electric-vehicle maker Polestar chooses to open its first European retail outlet in the EV-grant-enriched city of Oslo.
Norway has been promoting the uptake of electric cars for some years, offering owners grants and tax breaks big enough to render ICE-equivalent vehicles more expensive to buy than their EV cousins. Now the all-electric sub-brand of Volvo wants to change the consumer retail experience from that of the existing authorized dealership.
Changing the job description for “salesmen” to “Polestar Specialists” and calling the store a “Polestar Space” may not seem radical on the face of it. However, these “brand ambassadors” will not work for commissions, taking away the impetus for them to make a sale and concentrate instead on engaging and informing consumers.
The Swedish automaker says test drives can be conducted on-site, deliveries can be scheduled to home or office addresses and there is no held stock to steer buyers away from their own preferred vehicle configuration. Ordering vehicles can be completed through an app, on the website or under the guidance of a store specialist.
Each store will feature a model of both the Polestar 1 and Polestar 2 vehicles housed in designer-style lightboxes to enhance photographic studio-quality lighting without shadowing. There also will be virtual-reality equipment for a consumer interactive experience.
“Performance for us isn’t just about great driving dynamics,” Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath says. “It is also about the experience customers have choosing their perfect Polestar and the excitement of living with it every day.”