Polestar posts weakest deliveries in two years

Price wars have left premium brand struggling to locate demand

Polestar posts weakest deliveries in two years
Polestar has seen three consecutive quarterly drops in deliveries

Swedish EV pure play Polestar has posted its worst delivery quarter for two years, seeing a 40pc retraction in year-on-year sales, and marking its third successive quarterly decline in volumes.

The firm delivered 7,200 EVs in the first quarter of the year, 1,200 of which were sales of its most recent release, the Polestar 4 SUV, in China. Chinese deliveries are up from 880 in the final quarter of last year.

But, despite the increase in Polestar 4,the firm has still posted its lowest quarterly sales since the beginning of 2022. In fact, given that the company sold 21,200 EVs in the first half of 2022, but gives a figure of 13,900 for the first four months of 2022, the automaker sold more EVs in May and June of 2022 than in the entire most recent quarter.

It is a second consecutive underwhelming delivery announcement from Polestar, after the company missed its 60,000 unit target for FY2023 by over 5,000 vehicles.

“2024 is a transitional year, as we move from being a one-car brand during the first half of the year, to ramping up deliveries of our two luxury SUVs during the second half," says Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath.

Despite the downturn, Ingenlath says that positive reviews of the Polestar 3 and Polestar 4 "show the progress that our brand is making and confirm our dynamic, global strategy".

"These two cars will provide the basis for a strong revenue and margin progression during the second half of the year, supporting our 2025 targets,” he says.

The automaker is targeting a 2025 breakeven, as well as "high teens gross margins", and recently secured $950mn in external funding. from a consortium of international banks in February, which it says "provid[es] the funds needed to complete the next phase of its development".

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Polestar had said it was expecting a challenging end to 2023 as competitors pursued price cuts to sustain demand, with CEO Ingenlath telling news agency Reuters that "the end of '23 was a particularly tough situation where the competition has gone to discounts at a level which we just simply said no to".

But the company's desire to stick by its higher prices and shoot for high gross margins by next year, however, may have to give way to avoid delivery stagnation in times of challenging demand growth for the wider BEV sector.

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