In October 2017, Polestar announced its new business strategy as the electric performance brand together with 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 is known to be the most dynamic car market in the world, transforming rapidly together with the fast economic development in China.
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 will bring something new to the table in the EV market – a brand that is beyond the start-up stereotype: authentic, pure and desirable," says Tim Heldmann, Head of Global Brand & Marketing at Polestar. "Polestar is presenting a new exciting combination of advanced technology and driving experience."
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. With its fast growth and a global market share of 50 percent, 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," says Tim Heldmann. "We want to be in the lead of new electric car technology development and China is the place where it happens. Both from a market perspective and from a technology development perspective. This is why we have located our new Polestar Production Centre right here in China, in Chengdu."
It's designed together with international award-winning architects Sn∅hetta from Norway and 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 ratings (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).
It will be up and running for test production later in 2018.
The Centre will also be staffed by product experts, as well as a customer test track constructed within the campus to enable potential customers to evaluate the car to the extremes not possible on public roads.
"This is the perfect example of Polestar's great drive for performance" says Tim Heldmann. "We will not try to sell a new lifestyle. We put the car and the customer in the center of everything we do."
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 center with the brand's strong passion for performance," says Susie Lv, Head of Marketing at Polestar in China. "This mindset demonstrates Polestar's dedication in China, and is something we also want to reflect at Auto China 2018."
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," says Susie Lv. "We will challenge the competition globally to lead the development of the next-generation electric performance cars."
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, constructed within the campus. This will enable potential customers to evaluate the car to the extremes not possible on public roads.
Sustainability is a unifying topic. One of the defining issues of the current age, the push for greater sustainability must span everything, every industry sector, every geography. Accordingly, it makes sense to collaborate. To unite those already engaged in the quest for a more sustainable future.
The near future has been a muse for countless designers. It provides a framework in which creativity can thrive alongside an inbuilt sense of realism. The Polestar Design Contest and Polestar Precept were some of our near-future explorations. “Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow” is one of Balenciaga's. And they've asked Polestar to be a part of it.