Polestar Doesn’t See Tesla As A Rival, Has Its Eye On Porsche Customers

By automotive-mag.com 4 Min Read

Selling as many cars as possible is what the vast majority of automakers want, but not all of them are interested in huge volumes that would rival Tesla, which sold about 1.8 million cars globally in 2023. Polestar has models that directly rival Tesla’s, like the Polestar 2, which is an EV that the company admitted was going after Model 3 sales, but it wants to position itself as more premium and attract more “luxury” customers from established premium brands like Germany’s big three or Porsche.

Australia’s Drive talked to Graeme Lambert, who is Polestar’s global communications executive for Design, Innovation and APAC (Asia-Pacific), who explained Polestar’s different focus. He noted that Tesla was “chasing volume” and that it is “a mass-market player,” while explaining that Polestar is “a premium luxury brand with volume targets that are in line with that.”

This is evident in Polestar’s much less ambitious annual sales target, which has been set at between 155,000 and 165,000 vehicles in 2025. That’s considerably less than Tesla, which is expected to sell around 2.2 million vehicles this year, even though in the year’s first quarter, it manufactured more cars than it could deliver and is now offering big discounts for those who accept buying from inventory.

Tesla is known for its unexpected and often significant discounts, and this is another part of its business model that Polestar couldn’t hope to match. Lambert mentioned one of Polestar’s new models, the Polestar 4, as being a direct rival for the Tesla Model Y, at least in terms of size and scope. However, he explains that Polestar is actually hoping it will attract Porsche Macan EV buyers, which is another EV similar in size to a Model Y, but a lot more expensive.

Even though Polestar started its existence as a sporty, electrified Volvo spinoff, the Swedish manufacturer announced that it had no plans to keep supporting Polestar financially. It is still owned by Volvo’s parent company, Geely, and it announced that it had secured part of the funding it needed to stay afloat. In the future, we are likely to see an even bigger divergence between the vehicles sold by Polestar and Volvo, although they will still share platforms and technology.

The Polestar 4 electric coupe-SUV starts at $56,300, but it can go up to $74,300 in dual-motor Performance spec. That makes it a bit more expensive than the Tesla Model Y, whose base variant costs $44,990, but it undercuts the Porsche Macan EV with its starting price of $78,800 (or $105,300 in Macan Turbo guise).

Polestar is also working on a rival for the Porsche Taycan, which will be called the Polestar 5, and it should enter production by the end of the year. It is expected to start at around $100,000 (just like the Taycan), offer almost 900 horsepower in top trim, and surpass 300 miles of EPA range with its 103-kilowatt-hour battery pack. It will also be a rival for the Model S, but Tesla’s big sedan is considerably cheaper, with a starting price of $76,630.

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