LOS ANGELES — Electric vehicle brand Polestar has unveiled a certified pre-owned program to help drive business to its product-starved retailers. The program launches as the first Polestar 2 electric sedans are coming off their 36-month leases.
Polestar North America CEO Gregor Hembrough called the CPO program a “coming of age” moment for the Swedish brand, which launched its first and only mass-market model nearly three years ago.
“We’ve been in the marketplace long enough that we have lease returns; we have used cars that are coming back,” Hembrough told Automotive News on the sidelines of an event here last week.
The remarketing program addresses a significant pain point for Polestar’s fledgling retail network. With a new crossover product delayed by nearly a year and just one model — a sedan — to sell, some dealers say they lack enough throughput to justify their high-rent shopping center-based stores.
“Dealers are struggling to cover their expenses,” a Polestar retailer, who asked that he had not identified, told Automotive News last month. “If you’re looking at the cost of being in a shopping mall, it can be more expensive in the long term than owning your building.”
Matthew Haiken, CEO of Polestar Short Hills in New Jersey, said the CPO program will help sustain dealers through the lean times until the higher-volume Polestar 3 crossover arrives in stores later this year.
“It provides us a second car,” Haiken said. “A real entry-level Polestar 2. We need it.”
Remarketing also helps dealers defend their profit engine — the service department. Including scheduled maintenance ensures CPO customers get their vehicle serviced at a brand store rather than at an independent shop.
According to JD Power, franchised dealers sold about 2.48 million CPO vehicles last year, down 9.8 percent from 2021.