“We want to be Europe the same as Tesla”

“We want to be Europe the same as Tesla”


How does a new electric car manufacturer gain consumer confidence? By trampling against his mother’s company. For the Chinese and Swedish car brand Polestar, that is a consistent Volvo. Director Thomas Ingenlath explains how he makes Polestar old.

Bard van de Weijer

The first Polestar car (known as number 1) was a model of the show, a floating value designed to showcase the company’s expertise. Number 2 is the most accessible car that should be built in bulk and will compete with Audis, BMWs and Teslas. It was presented to the Dutch media last week and soon the first Dutch buyers will be able to pick it up.

Creating a new car brand that wants to deliver in large quantities is no trivial matter. Just ask Elon Musk, who ended up in hell production and distribution for years with his Tesla Model 3 electronics. But Polestar has an advantage: it is part of the larger Volvo and Geely Chinese cars. Thanks to the experience there, we managed to create our own casual style series in no time.

Like Tesla, Polestar chooses not to launch its own retailer network. There are no exhibition halls with well-spoken vendors, says Ingenlath. In the Netherlands, three vacancies called Space will open on Saturday, July 25, with car galleries in downtown Eindhoven, Rotterdam and Leidschendam (Amsterdam will follow later), where two Polestar models will be shown and where a potential client can. feel, smell and ‘experience’.

What’s wrong with a regular exhibition room?

‘Sometimes I go to Autohaus as they are called in Germany (Ingelath is originally German, red† Then all sorts of people immediately come to you, who start asking all sorts of things, when I might just want to look at that car. It feels anxious, because once you get the feeling that someone wants to sell you a car. It doesn’t always work that way, but it pushes me back.

‘That’s why our staff will not approach foreigners to sell them a car. They don’t get their money with that. They earn their money by providing information when a customer asks.

What Thomas Ingenlath himself likes about Polestar 2: ‘Bright backlash drawings.’

‘Other reasons are: if you, as a manufacturer, want a large car with twenty cars, you must go to outdoor areas. You can’t build something like that in the city center. Time is where the customers are. They go to a restaurant, visit a museum and maybe soon also Polestar Space. It is good that you do not need to drive an hour to see the car outside the city. You are already in the middle though, and we want to be there as well.

“Besides, retailers are in big trouble. Look at what’s going on after the corona disaster. All retailers are in big trouble. They really need to survive. While online retailers are making a profit.”

But as a customer I may also want to see a car during the day, or in a different color, or have something to do with business. Things that people do for a regular retailer.

‘You can also take a test drive with us. We have a very good mail reality in Spaces, where you can see the car in all sorts of colors. ‘

Dutch customers cannot trade in their existing car and must remove their used car themselves. Other startups that make electronic cars, very successful in the Netherlands and also have online showrooms only, can not rely on satisfied customers every time it comes to service. For example in case of damage.

“We do not hide the fact that we are part of Volvo. We use this vendor network. There is always someone for you if you need it.”

What Thomas Ingenlath himself likes about Polestar 2: 'You can see that car designers like to set the accent with chrome trim.  We did not want to fall into that trap.  So there is no chrome, and I'm very happy with that. '  Photo

What Thomas Ingenlath himself likes about Polestar 2: ‘You can see that car designers like to set the accent with chrome trim. We did not want to fall into that trap. So there is no chrome, and I’m very happy with that. ‘

Last year a jury of automotive journalists and designers voted Polestar 1 to be the best. Can you name the three Polestar 2 details that make you happy?

The most popular are the bright graphics of the back lights. I think the biggest step is that we have moved away from the conventional automotive treatment structure. So I mean chrome. We have completely abandoned that. You see, car designers love to set accents for chrome frames. We did not want to fall into that trap. So there is no chrome, and I really enjoy that. It looks very natural. We tried, but it soon became clear that it was not good.

‘The third feature is the vegan technique. There are no animal products on the car, such as leather. Everyone loves the modern fabrics that Nike uses. We have also used them. And it carefully did not fall on the skin, which you see with every first impression. If one wants to, it is an option. But I get skin out of time; not good for many reasons. That’s why we promote vegan materials. It also emits less harmful gases. And it is easy to clean. Leather is good for old cars. ‘

What director Thomas Ingenlath likes about Polestar 2: There are no animal products on the car, such as leather, that you can see for every paid brand.  If one wants to, it is an option.  But I do learn from time to time. '  Photo

What director Thomas Ingenlath likes about Polestar 2: There are no animal products on the car, such as leather, that you can see for every paid brand. If one wants to, it is an option. But I do learn from time to time. ‘

As I was driving Polestar 2 last week, someone stood next to me and blew a horn. We opened our windows. He said: what a beautiful car, that is a new Volvo S40? If someone confuses your car with Volvo, is that a compliment or an insult?

‘I am at peace with it. We started with a car that was very Volvo; Polestar 1 was once a Volvo concept. Polestar 2 is already slightly below Volvo and number 3 will have moved a little further, becoming more and more ‘Polestar’. This is the pain that every little thing you have to go through, isolating yourself from your parents takes time.

‘Sometimes you do not like when you are with your parents, and you want to rebel. But I think we are mature enough now to handle that. And frankly, it’s not just a drawback either. Because as a start it is very difficult to build a brand identity. Like Polestar, we can use image support in the first phase, such as the security that Volvo manages. And a healthy Scandinavian life. So it is right for us to be associated with Volvo for a longer period of time.

What kind of car manufacturer would you like to be in five years?

‘The brand of electrical performance, in the league from Tesla and Porsche. On a solid basis in Polestar 2. A group that contributes to making the automotive industry more sustainable. A lot is happening, but the pace of change is not happening fast enough. Some industries are at the forefront when it comes to sustainability. Foreigners, and Tesla is an excellent example, show how rapid change can and is important. I think we got that message too. We want to be Europe the same as Tesla. ‘

Everything is there, from the roof of the panel to the blind detectors on the narrow exterior mirrors, from the steering wheel support to, if necessary, the caravan support support. The electric polestar 2 can compete with fuel cars from the same, price segment. Read the review here.