Boutique outlets in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver position Polestar for the “long road ahead” in Canada’s evolving EV market: analyst
Polestar is set to become the second EV-only marque to establish a retail presence in Canada.
Based in Sweden, the company recently announced partnerships with Grand Touring Automobiles, a luxury vehicle retailer, and GAIN Group, a British Columbia-based vehicle representative, to open retail locations in Canada. The outlets, called Polestar Spaces, will be in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.
There will also be two Polestar service centres in Victoria and Waterloo, Ont.
“Ninety-five per cent of Canadian Polestar owners and reservation holders live within the 240-kilometre home delivery range of these Polestar retail Spaces,” says Hugues Bissonnette, head of Polestar Canada. “With this coverage, plus the two additional service centres, we are confident that the Canadian market will be well-supported from day one.”
Founded in 2017, Polestar currently has two vehicles available: the Polestar 1, a limited-edition high-end hybrid, and the Polestar 2, a fully-electric vehicle priced in the same bracket as the Model 3 from Tesla — the other EV-only manufacturer with a retail presence in Canada (11 Tesla stores, plus two more just announced).
Having Polestar, which is jointly owned by Volvo Car Group and its Chinese parent Geely, enter the market is a good move for both the company and the overall EV industry, says Robert Karwel, senior manager, Power Information Network Canada, at J.D. Power and Associates.
“Current EV performance in Canada, from what we estimate of it, appears to validate that Canadians are willing to buy luxury EVs and forgo the traditional selling model, to a point,” says Karwel, in an e-mail interview with Electric Autonomy Canada.
While this addition won’t “dramatically change our industry overnight,” he adds, it will allow Polestar to be at the forefront of that change.
Mirrors the market
“They appear to be ready for the long road ahead by making investments, and staking a claim, today,” Karwel says. “I think the dynamic between the use of EV tech and hybrid tech clearly demonstrates how the industry is not going to be EV overnight, but it will be an evolution, and Polestar mirrors that.”
While Polestar has a “digital-first” retail model, it says the Spaces will employ non-commissioned product specialists to assist customers with product information and to help would-be buyers take test drives.
Polestar vehicles are available for purchase across the country. The company is offering a home delivery option and servicing for those that live with 250 kilometres of a Spaces outlet or service centre. For those farther afield, the company says it will work out a plan to get the vehicle from dealership to owner.
Note: This story was updated on August 13th, 2020 to refer to Polestar as a car brand