An electric vehicle maker opened its first Georgia dealership Tuesday evening at The Battery Atlanta in Cobb County.
The opening of the store from Polestar, the electrified division of Volvo, marks yet another point of expansion for Georgia’s EV industry. The growth of metro Atlanta was one factor that led the company to the outskirts of Georgia’s capital city, said Gregor Hembrough, head of Polestar USA.
“To bring a brand new luxury EV to the Atlanta marketplace was sort of common sense and commonplace,” Hembrough said.
But even more exciting than entering the Atlanta market was the opportunity to place the showroom at The Battery, part of the Atlanta Braves’ stadium complex, Hembrough said. The store is located in the 1220 Suite of 950 Battery Ave. NE and sits between Savi Provisions and One Medical. Truist Park is visible from the street.
Instead of opening another dealership amongst the rows of sellers scattered across the metro area, The Battery location allows clientele to find Polestar vehicles in a fresh way, Hembrough said.
“We did a different approach where we said we want to go to a place where people come and they entertain, whether it be sporting events, whether it be dinners, whether it be movies, and intercept them,” Hembrough said.
Tesla upended the car-buying model by not only popularizing EVs but selling direct to consumers. The company operates a number of storefronts in Georgia and other states. The Polestar Atlanta location also sells direct to customers.
But the direct sales model for companies like Tesla and Polestar has caused heartburn among independent auto dealers in many states. A recent push to relax Georgia’s rules related to direct auto sales did not pass the General Assembly.
The Polestar showroom floor showcased three Polestar 2s, which the company markets as the “electric performance fastback.” Attendees of the grand opening event munched on appetizers and checked out Polestar vehicles.
Will Smith, a resident of Gwinnett County, recently ordered an SUV known as the Polestar 3. Deliveries for the car are expected to start in Q1 of 2024, Hembrough said. Smith said Polestar’s Android-powered infotainment systems was one reason for his purchase, but he also mentioned the company’s mystique.
“They are kind of unique in the way that you don’t see a lot of them on the road,” Smith said. “But if you research the specs and all the different features, they are still competitive in that way.”
Smith purchased his vehicle online before the Polestar Atlanta store opened, and he expects delivery early next year. Polestar touts its improved customer experience whether purchasing a car online or in the store. The store will be staffed with product specialists who can go through model options, set-up test drives, and show customers product samples, all from digital touchscreens in the store.
“You can pick up the car here, you can finance the car here, all the paperwork, but it’s all done digitally,” Hembrough said.
Instead of a typical ribbon cutting, Hembrough and other leaders unbuckled a gold seat belt. The significance? All of Polestar’s performance models feature “Swedish gold” seatbelts. The company’s global headquarter is Gothenburg, Sweden.
The company has future plans for a smaller SUV, a sedan and an 883 horsepower convertible model. Polestar’s product lines through 2026 are already unveiled, Hembrough said.
“We want our stakeholders and our customers to know that we have a very bright, innovative future,” Hembrough said.