Polestar is promising fleet customers a ‘VIP experience’ equal to that enjoyed by retail buyers as the new brand launches its first mainstream model in the UK, the Polestar 2.
With no dealerships, and no intentions to open any, the brand is utilising an online sales model and has developed a robust corporate sales strategy to get the car into the fleet sector.
Jonny Miller, who was previously national leasing and residual value manager at sister company Volvo Cars UK, took on the role as Polestar’s head of sales development in the UK in February. He is working with the leasing sector and with larger corporates to ensure they have access to the new all-electric model.
Polestar, which is owned by Chinese automotive giant Geely, operates a direct-to-consumer sales model and prepares and delivers all its cars from a central base.
Miller is building relationships with leasing firms to ensure the vehicle is available on choice lists, with more than 25 already signed up and more expected to join.
Once the leasing company takes an order, Polestar looks after the rest of the customer journey; configuring the vehicle and delivering it to the customer.
Miller told Fleet News: “We want to keep the sales and marketing element of Polestar completely separate from Volvo.
“While that brand already has good relationships with fleets and leasing companies, we need to forge our own path. I will work with larger fleets directly, while our leasing partners will be the first port of call for smaller firms.”
No showroom visit needed
When it comes to aftersales, Polestar will leverage the Volvo dealer network. But, Polestar customers will not be expected to ever visit a Volvo showroom. The brand will coordinate a collection and delivery service, which can be booked by the driver via mobile app.
“We’ve priced the car to include delivery and three years of servicing, so fleet customers can be confident they will pay one price and get the same high level of personal service as a private buyer,” said Miller.
Volvo dealers will be paid by Polestar to provide aftersales services and will be responsible for providing the delivery and collection service as well a courtesy car, if required.
The service is designed to work around the Polestar 2’s digital key. This enables the driver to use the car day-to-day with just their smartphone, while access can be granted to other users when they need to use the vehicle.
A range of services will be available, including parcel delivery to the car’s boot, a valeting service and a charging service, whereby a third-party provider will come to charge the car for the owner while they are not using it.
“This is a new lifestyle for people, based around the smartphone. It will be possible for drivers to have no human contact with the brand and do everything digitally,” Miller said.
Fleet customers are expected to account for around 60% of Polestar 2 sales, although the initial allocation of vehicles has already been reserved by private customers who paid a £1,000 deposit when the car was announced 18 months ago.
Miller says that any company car drivers who have placed a deposit can convert their private order to a fleet one. He adds that supply will be constrained to “thousands” rather than “tens of thousands” per year, but there is availability before the end of the year for new orders.
“We are already getting lease orders coming through and we’d advise drivers who want a Polestar 2 to place their orders earlier than usual so we can plan to deliver their car on time,” he added.
The Polestar 2 is priced at £49,900 in Launch Edition trim, which comes loaded with equipment. It features a 78kWh battery, which provides a range of almost 300 miles.
Next year, the brand will introduce a lower specification model with a single motor and a longer range, which will have a lower P11D price.
A demo fleet will shortly be making its way to larger fleet customers, while the brand will run regional drive days for SMEs and smaller fleets over the coming months.
Drivers can experience the car at a Polestar ‘Space’, two of which will shortly open in shopping centres in the UK – one in London and one in Manchester.