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On Tuesday, Volvo unveiled the first model of its new electric brand, Polestar. It will go into production mid 2019. Volvo has previously announced that all models released after 2019 will be exclusively electric or hybrid. 

Photo courtesy of Volvo Car Group

What is particularly interesting is where this stretches beyond product innovation. Following the direct-to-consumer model that Tesla popularized, Volvo will ditch the dealership. Cars will be ordered online only, and customers will be able to visit showroom facilities to experience the vehicles. But more importantly, Volvo is redefining ownership. Vehicles will be purchased on a 2-3 year subscription basis – monthly payments, no deposit. The subscription will include pick-up/delivery, servicing, and the ability to rent alternate vehicles at no additional cost.

It’s always interesting to understand who is behind this: Volvo is owned by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group. They will complete the construction of the Polestar plant in Chengdu, China in 2018.

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