In October 2017, Polestar announced its new business strategy as the electric performance brand and the reveal of its first car, the Polestar 1, in Shanghai. The location was carefully chosen. China is the world's biggest car market. But more importantly, it's also the biggest and fastest growing market for electric cars. Now, Polestar is back in China to meet with potential customers at Auto China 2018 in Beijing.
The Chinese car market represents a third of all passenger cars sold globally. And it's known to be the most dynamic car market in the world, transforming rapidly alongside China's lightning-fast economic development.
A new generation of car owners in China are already demanding top quality, driver comfort, connected services and great design. In the premium and performance segments, Chinese customer expectations are obviously much higher.
"I'm confident Polestar will over-deliver against Chinese customer expectations, as we'll bring something new to the table in the EV market—a brand that goes beyond the start-up stereotype. It's authentic, pure and desirable. Polestar is presenting an exciting new combination of advanced technology and driving experience," says Tim Heldmann, Head of Global Brand & Marketing at Polestar.
In parallel with growing demands for premium quality and services, China is the world's biggest market for electric cars. In 2017, 600,000 electric cars were sold in China, compared with 200,000 in the US. Thanks to its fast growth and 50% global market share, electric car sales are estimated to hit one million in 2019.
"China is one of the most interesting markets for electric cars and very important to Polestar. We want to be pioneers in developing new electric car technologies, and China is the place where it happens. Both from a market perspective and from a technology development perspective. That's why we've located our new Polestar Production Centre right here in China, in Chengdu," says Tim Heldmann.
It's designed together with international award-winning architects Sn∅hetta from Norway. It will be the most environmentally-responsible car factory in China and one of the most efficient in the world, with a target of Gold status in the globally-recognized LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) ratings.
It will be up and running for test production later in 2018.
The Centre will also be staffed by product experts and feature a customer test track on the campus so that potential customers can test the car at extremes not possible on public roads.
"This is the perfect example of Polestar's great drive for performance. We will not try to sell a new lifestyle. We put the car and the customer in the centre of everything we do," says Tim Heldmann.
The advanced Chengdu Production Centre will also become an important statement, both for demonstrating China's importance to Polestar and for Polestar to enter the Chinese market in a different way.
"This is an interesting and different way to integrate a production centre with the brand's strong passion for performance. This mindset demonstrates Polestar's dedication in China, and is something we also want to reflect at Auto China 2018," says Susie Lv, Head of Marketing at Polestar in China.
Polestar will present the Polestar 1 at Auto China 2018 in Beijing. The electric performance hybrid has received very positive responses from the world's automotive press since its first appearance in Shanghai. This appearance in Beijing will be the first time for prospective customers and the broader Chinese public to view the car.
"This car, the Polestar 1, is the perfect start for Polestar in China. We will challenge the competition globally to lead the development of the next generation electric performance cars," says Susie Lv.
Polestar's Production Centre in Chengdu will be the most environmentally-responsible car factory in China, and one of the most efficient in the world. It will be up and running for test production later in 2018. The Centre will also have a special test track on the campus so that potential customers to evaluate the car at extremes not possible on public roads.
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When in Rovaniemi
Do as the locals do. Words of wisdom that any seasoned traveller is familiar with. They don't just govern behaviour, however. They speak to the importance of having an open mind, embracing new customs, and adapting to one's surroundings. There are equivalents in all languages. In English, one is told that “when in Rome, do as the Romans do”. It counts for the Italian capital, just as it counts for northern Finland. Which is exactly where we headed this winter.