Polestar targets new markets

The struggling Sino-Swedish EV pure play still has ambitious plans for its tweaked sales model

Polestar targets new markets
Polestar's share price has not made for a pretty picture on the last 12 months

Gothenburg-headquartered Polestar has not had its troubles to seek lately. But the firm remains in expansive mood despite its recent share price and governance issues.

Polestar stock has tumbled from almost $5/share in July of last year to under $0.70/share at the end of last week (see main image) on concerns over the pace of sales growth and the firm’s ability to continue to fund itself before reaching scale. And, in May, Polestar had to admit that, as a consequence of not having filed its annual for the 2023 fiscal year, the company has received a deficiency notice from the Nasdaq exchange, further dampening investor sentiment.

The firm said at the end of last month that it expects to file its annual report for 2023 and publish preliminary unaudited financial and operational results for the first quarter of this year by the end of June. But it has yet to give a further update on exact date for this.

Nonetheless, Polestar is still planning to expand “its retail footprint with existing and new partners, as part of a shift to a non-genuine agency sales model across Europe”. It hopes that potential customers, as well as being able to configure and order their vehicle online, will appreciate a wider network of Polestar Spaces and service locations, “making it easier for more customers to buy and own a Polestar”, the firm promises.

Sweden and Norway switched to a non-genuine agency sales model earlier in June. Other markets will follow suit in the second half of the year.

Going bigger

Polestar also plans to enter seven new markets during 2025, including France — the largest volume market for BEVs in the EU after Germany, “represent[ing] a significant opportunity for the company”. Polestar is also targeting the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland in Europe, as well as Thailand and Brazil internationally, via local distribution partnerships.

“Expanding our retail operations with new and existing partners will enable us to reach more customers. Through these partnerships and expansion, we will capitalise on our strong brand and growing model line-up,” says Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath.

The firm has also shifted Gregor Hembrough, for six years the firm’s head of North America, to a new role as head of global sales operations. Hembrough will be backfilled by Anders Gustafsson, formerly of Polestar's ex-parent Volvo Cars, most recently as its CEO of Volvo Cars USA.  

The firm has also brought in Matt Galvin , who had been UK managing director at Chinese EV pure play Nio, to lead its UK operations. Galvin replaces the retiring Jonathan Goodman, and can also boast previous experience at the UK arms of Volvo and Germany’s Mercedes.

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It has also raided Nio in Norway for Marius Hayler, who headed up Norway and Germany for the Chinese new entrant, with Alexander Horthe departing Polestar. Hayler, whose previous roles include country director for the Norwegian arm of the UK’s Jaguar Land Rover Norge, managing director of Moller Bil Sweden and Volvo Norway vice-president, will head up the Nordic region in addition to Polestar’s business in Norway.

“Through these appointments, we are strengthening our sales teams and bringing in additional expertise at a pivotal point in our development, as our model line-up expands to include two new SUVs,” says Polestar head of commercial Kristian Elvefors, to whom the new hires will report.

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