Updated January 19th, 2024 at 22:07 IST

Upbeat on robust EV sales this year after subdued 2023: Polestar CEO

Anticipated growth of EVs has been slow to emerge due to weak demand, reduced subsidies and supply chain issues.

Reported by: Business Desk
Polestar | Image:Unsplash
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Sweden-based manufacturer of premium electric vehicles Polestar is upbeat on growth in sales during the current year, betting big on a new model to be launched this month, its CEO Thomas Ingenlath said on Friday. Ingenlath's comments come after the automaker witnessed a rather disappointind finish to 2023 amid a price war started by Tesla.

Several automakers have warned that the anticipated growth of EVs has been slow to emerge due to weak demand, reduced subsidies and supply chain issues.

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"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," CEO Thomas Ingenlath said in an interview with Reuters, although he said consumers were less price sensitive in the premium brand segment than for mass-market rivals.

"Our (Polestar') premium segment is less about the price war and more about consumer appetite ... we have to tempt them and tease them into spending on a new premium EV," Ingenlath said. Polestar, which is co-owned by Volvo, will open European orders for its new Polestar 4 SUV coupe at the end of January and launch production of the Polestar 3 early this year after production was delayed.

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The EV maker said last week that it delivered 54,600 cars in 2023, short of its target of 60,000 cars. During last year the automaker cut its target twice, after initially saying it would deliver 80,000 cars. The EV sector took another hit last week when car rental firm Hertz, the largest U.S. fleet operator of EVs including Polestars, said it would sell 20,000 of its fleet of electric cars, including Teslas, due to high repair costs and low demand.

Ingenlath told Reuters that Hertz was not selling any Polestars and he still believed the U.S. company would buy 65,000 Polestars over five years as planned. He said Polestar's data shows EV repair costs are similar to those of fossil-fuel models. Hertz did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

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(With Reuters inputs) 

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Published January 19th, 2024 at 22:07 IST