But in fact, it is not an exaggeration to say that the Polestar was born with a golden spoon. Backed by two traditional manufacturers, Geely and Volvo, the orthodox Polestar directly skipped the most difficult “start” period for new energy vehicles. The so-called beginning of everything is difficult, even under such unique conditions, Polestar still failed to make a good start, but gained a series of “embarrassments”.
For example, the embarrassment between high-end positioning and weak brand power; the embarrassment between ultra-high pricing and weak product power; the embarrassment of having to pay attention to the domestic market when the dominance is not in China. A series of embarrassment is actually a series of mistakes. After nearly 5 years of development, Polestar, which is so ambitious, has been gradually marginalized by the market.
Although Polestar has been moving continuously this year, it focuses on improving the speed of development. But at the same time, new car-making forces such as Tesla, Weilai, and Ideal are constantly refreshing their own heights. In the highly competitive track of new energy vehicles, it is not so easy to make up for a bad start in the future.
In October 2017, Polestar Motors, which is positioned as a “unique global high-performance electric vehicle brand”, was established.
Soon after its establishment, Polestar quickly launched the first-generation new energy hybrid model Polestar 1, and launched the second-generation pure electric model Polestar 2 in April 2019, claiming to be the benchmark for Tesla Model 3.
Being able to launch two new cars in less than two years was unimaginable for any new power brand at the time. But Polestar did it for no other reason. Backed by two big trees, Volvo and Geely, Polestar has the technological and resource advantages unmatched by most new power brands.
In order to deepen the “global” positioning and make Polestar Auto have better market competitiveness, Volvo also specially established Polestar Auto’s corporate headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden, R&D in Sweden and the United Kingdom, and production in China.
However, such a seemingly reasonable organizational structure arrangement has resulted in the current situation that the product design of Polestar Motors is carried out by the European design team, and the domestic department has no right to speak.
Foreign monks can’t recite sutras, and Polestar doesn’t understand what the Chinese market really needs.
In terms of the appearance of Polestar 2, the second-generation pure electric model of Polestar, it can neither be called a sedan nor an SUV. The so-called “crossover car” may be attractive to the European market, but it is definitely a niche model in the Chinese market. Whether it is an SUV or a sedan, consumers basically don’t see “weird” very much. Design.
Space is a place that many consumers pay more attention to, and even many car companies have launched special long-axle models for the Chinese market. However, the interior space of the Polestar 2 is also deeply criticized, especially the rear seat space is very crowded. This “hard injury” further “shuts out” domestic consumers.
Some people believe that it is probably because of this reason that Geely has set up a new car. It is obvious that, as a latecomer, Jikr Automobile has developed much faster than Jixing Automobile.
In addition, as a sub-brand of Volvo, Polestar also inherited the blood of “too many” Volvo. Whether it’s the Thor headlights or the sporty lower surround, it’s too similar to most Volvo models. Such “mistakes” directly lead to the lack of a clear and differentiated image label with Volvo in the hearts of Chinese Polestar consumers.
To put it simply, when the difference is not big, why don’t consumers directly buy a Volvo new energy vehicle that is more mature in all aspects? Under this problem, the so-called “high-end” positioning of Polestar can’t help but seem too pale.
Moreover, in the domestic new energy vehicle market, even BBA’s brand appeal has been greatly reduced, not to mention Volvo’s sense of luxury has long been better than before. Therefore, the “luxury” of Polestar is not an endorsement.
In addition to the inaccurate positioning, another fact is that Polestar’s brand voice in the Chinese market is extremely low, and many consumers don’t even know about it. The fundamental reason is that Polestar lacks the concept of “marketing” and misses the best opportunity for product promotion.
Looking at the development of new energy vehicles in China, 2017 can be said to be the best time for rapid development in terms of policy and environment. But the newly born Polestar did not seize this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Perhaps it was too eager for success, or because the R&D funds were relatively tight, Polestar did not successfully imprint this brand-new brand in people’s minds through the “marketing” of the first product.
No matter what track, a brand that consumers have never seen or heard of, no one is willing to understand and pay for it.
Products that are not closed
Operation, design, publicity… These links have the opportunity to be adjusted for a brand, but there is no room for remorse for the products that are implemented and delivered.
It can be seen that the models under Polestar have no obvious advantages over other products. And there are more or less problems in terms of power, endurance performance, technical components, and the most important quality. In the intertwining of these problems, its high price is even more dazzling.
Today’s car market is mainly aimed at young people, and the power and performance of the car is an important consideration for young people when purchasing a car.
According to Polestar’s official website, Polestar 2 currently offers three models in the domestic market: single motor standard battery life, single motor long battery life, and dual motor long battery life. In terms of power, the maximum power of the three models is 165kW, 170kW and 300kW respectively, the maximum torque is 330N m and 660 N m respectively, and the acceleration time to 100km/h is 7.4 seconds and 4.7 seconds respectively.
Source: understand the car emperor
On the other hand, the Tesla Model 3, which has always been the benchmark, is much higher than the Polestar 2 in terms of zero acceleration, maximum power, and maximum torque.
The issue of battery life has always been the biggest pain point for new energy vehicle users, and it is also an important factor for consumers to choose a car.
In terms of battery life, the Polestar 2 still has no advantage. All three models are equipped with ternary lithium batteries, and the cruising range under NEDC conditions is 485km, 565km and 512km respectively. This kind of endurance performance, let alone the Tesla Model 3, is a bit difficult compared to some new car-making forces in China.
In terms of product technology, the only special feature of Polestar is its SPA2 evolved from Volvo’s SPA, which is an electronic and electrical architecture based on a central processing computing platform. In addition, there are no bright spots in electric drive system, battery system, unmanned driving, etc. What Polestar has, most brands can do.
As a luxury sports-oriented tram, the three aspects of power, battery life and technology did not bring any extra points to Polestar. In the unremarkable fact, there is no Polestar mass-produced yet, and the product quality problem has repeatedly appeared after only three months of delivery.
As early as July 2020, after the new Polestar 2 was delivered in Europe, some European car owners successively exposed that the Polestar 2 would be “lying down” while driving. To this end, Polestar Motors has announced a recall of all 2,200 new Polestar 2s already delivered in the European market. From October to November of the same year, Polestar issued two consecutive recalls. When the time comes to 2021, Polestar recalls a total of 2031 vehicles again.
Source: Official website of the State Administration for Market Regulation
Although from a big perspective, frequent recalls are a mature manifestation of the automotive market. However, it is worth noting that the reasons for Polestar’s repeated recalls involve problems with core components such as the power battery energy control module.
In the eyes of Polestar customers, relying on Geely and Volvo’s years of car manufacturing experience, Polestar should have been quite mature in the control of details, but the reality is diametrically opposite. What do consumers think?
Interestingly, the first high-performance electric-drive hybrid GT coupe Polestar 1 launched by Polestar is priced as high as 1.45 million yuan. Such pricing is destined to fail, but it is just a trick to create a gimmick for the brand’s voice.
So far, the price range of Polestar 2 is 257,800 yuan to 338,000 yuan. Compared with the Polestar 1 in terms of price, it looks more “close to the people”, but in today’s new energy vehicle market, in the price range of 20,000 to 300,000 yuan, in terms of battery life, power, quality and other aspects, it is more affordable than the Polestar 2. There are many products worth choosing, especially the Tesla Model 3 that Polestar is targeting.
Market sales also confirm this, with Polestar selling 29,000 vehicles for the full year of 2021. Sales in the Chinese market achieved a year-on-year growth rate of 471%. According to the sales volume of 365 vehicles in 2020, the sales volume of Polestar in the Chinese market in 2021 will only be about 2,084 vehicles, which is not even the third echelon.
There is no outstanding advantage, and the quality of the product cannot be complimented, but even so, the high price must be maintained. It can be said that the root cause of all Polestar’s “mistakes” lies in the lack of attention, understanding and in-depth understanding of the Chinese market.
Going to sea? Pass China first
In early 2022, Polestar announced the company’s development plan for the next few years, with a focus on overseas expansion.
It is reported that in the first half of 2022, Polestar will turn its attention to the European market and plan to enter Spain, Portugal and Ireland. At the same time, Polestar will also enter Middle East markets such as the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Israel. It is expected that by the end of 2023, Polestar will expand its business to more than 30 countries around the world. In addition, by the end of 2022, the number of Polestar global retail outlets is expected to exceed 150.
From the data point of view, in 2021, China will account for 53% of the global market share of new energy passenger vehicles. China has become the most competitive market for new energy vehicles in the world, and it is undoubtedly the best touchstone for various car companies. Companies that can survive and thrive in such a fully competitive market are proven real gold.
It is a pity that the brand Polestar has lacked attention to domestic consumers from the very beginning. Although Polestar has always shown attention to the Chinese market in terms of external publicity, this does not mean that it has enough sincerity for the Chinese market.
The first to bear the brunt is product design and brand promotion. It is not difficult to see that the European label on its body is too obvious, and it is not designed for the Chinese market.
Secondly, in terms of channel construction, Polestar’s official website shows that it currently has only 15 stores in the country, of which 7 are concentrated in the four first-tier cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. Store layout greatly affects consumers’ decision-making, which can reflect the after-sales service capability of a car company. Polestar’s store layout dilemma makes consumers unable to trust Polestar at all.
Under such circumstances, it is not difficult to understand that Polestar is not selling well.
Supply and demand determine price fluctuations. Therefore, price reduction is also considered to be a panacea to solve the problem of sales. But on Polestar, this trick is still useless.
At the end of last year, some media broke the news that many Polestar 2 models were sold at a discount on a second-hand trading platform, and some models were even sold at a price lower than 40%. However, even in the “Fracture Sale”, Polestar’s sales in one year are not even better than Tesla’s sales in one day.
There is a view that in the era of smart cars, it will be difficult for car brands that do not set up their R&D centers in China to succeed. Polestar, which is difficult to make “achievements” in the Chinese market, how much market share can it occupy when going overseas?
Perhaps it is because of dissatisfaction with the status quo and urgent need for funds to accelerate development, or perhaps it is just a “pure” desire to increase its popularity and take advantage of the new energy vehicle to gain a share in the capital market. In June last year, foreign media reported that Polestar wanted to “backdoor” the listing.
Polestar 2024 Polestar5
By September 2021, Polestar officially announced the proposed merger and listing with the US special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Gores Guggenheim, which is expected to be completed in the first half of 2022. At that time, the capital market’s valuation of Polestar had reached 20 billion US dollars.
Now that the time has come to the end of June, as planned, Polestar will officially land on Nasdaq on June 24 with the stock code “PSNY”. However, in the face of the dismal sales volume and the huge investment required for overseas expansion, even if it is successfully listed, how much capital in the secondary market will pay for Polestar?
As domestic and foreign traditional auto manufacturers continue to enter the new energy market, the current competition is unprecedentedly fierce. Under such a background, listing may quench Polestar’s “near thirst”, but brand power and product power are not forged in a day. , sales and market share will not be able to increase in the short term.
Surviving in the cracks, it may be difficult for Polestar to turn over.