Stéphane Le Guével , experienced international leader in the automotive industry, now at the head of Polestar Iberia, tells us about the future strategy of the premium brand with great acceptance in our market.
How and where was Polestar born as an electrical product?
At first it was born as a Volvo performance line, but in 2015 the decision was made to make Polestar a brand in itself, and the decision was from the beginning to have a 100% electric brand. We started with the Polestar 1, which was a plug-in hybrid, but it was only made in 1,500 copies and, furthermore, we wanted a concept to show the brand’s design. In fact, it is still today the plug-in with the most autonomy in the world, which is impressive because it has up to 130 km of autonomy. We were born like this but from the beginning with the aim of giving way to purely electric mobility, and with a very, very strong challenge, with the commitment that we have that by 2030 we will produce cars with zero impact on the carbon footprint, that is, that throughout the chain, zero impact on the carbon footprint.
You manufacture in China and the USA. How do you experience this commitment from these countries?
It is a challenge, we still do not know how we are going to achieve it, but we publish each year the progress we have made in the face of this challenge; and we’re very transparent about the impact that we have on the carbon footprint, so every year we’re going to be very transparent.
Polestar is born and you position yourself in the market as a premium brand. What product is yet to come and what range could we expect in the short term?
We are moving towards a luxury brand positioning. This October we officially present the Polestar 3, a large SUV with more than 600 km of autonomy that will go a little higher in terms of positioning than the Polestar 2. In the year 2024 we will launch the Polestar 4, an SUV smaller coupé than the just mentioned 3. Then the Polestar Precept concept car will also be a production car in 2024, albeit with deliveries in 2025. Finally, we have just announced the Polestar 6, which will be the series production of our O2 concept Roadster, which will go even further in terms of luxury.
How are you going to treat the customer so that he also feels premium, both before and once he has his car?
The first thing I would tell you is that we are not talking about a dealer because our business model is direct sales, but we know that for customers to have the possibility of having a place to experience the brand is important, that is why we opened in Paseo de Gracia ( Barcelona), and then in Madrid a ‘space’ (we have Polestar specialists who are not commercial, they are not here to sell, they are here to talk about the brand and offer driving experiences), which we call Polestar. Then we will need more than two, but the idea will depend on the development of the brand and the market.
Seeing what is to come, the Polestar 5 for example, will sportiness continue to be the brand’s design language?
Design is of course central to our brand and our CEO is a designer. So the design is very important, and the Polestar 5 introduces the brand’s new design that we are already going to find in the Polestar 3. What is going to remain central to the brand is high performance because it is part of our history. Design and performance are the two pillars of the brand’s DNA.
What will the Polestar 3 bring to the market and to the brand?
It is the first car that is truly independent from Volvo. The 1 and 2 were adaptations of Volvo concept cars, but the Polestar 3 is the first vehicle with an independent design and own brand. So it’s important to us because it points the direction to the future. And another pillar is its autonomy of more than 600 km, since the infrastructure in Spain is still lagging behind compared to other European countries.