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Volvo opens car showroom as New Yorkers battle cabin fever

The Volvo car company is opening a popup showroom to tempt grounded New Yorkers with their Polestar electric vehicle.

Cushman & Wakefield has arranged a 4,000 s/f lease for the Polestar showroom on the ground floor of 5 East 59th Street.

 Polestar will use the space to educate consumers about the benefits of owning and driving a Polestar car through a retail model that is untraditional for the automotive industry. This is the company’s first lease in Manhattan.


A Cushman & Wakefield team of Andrew Kahn and Christian Stanton represented the landlord, Capstone Equities, while Jason Greenstone, also of Cushman & Wakefield, represented the tenant.

“The Polestar showroom, across from the Apple Cube on Fifth Avenue, is one of the highest visible retail sites in the country, offering Polestar billboard visibility that anyone walking on Fifth Avenue will see,” said Kahn. “Polestar fills the last remaining space on one of the best retail blocks in New York and joins new retailers on the street, including Balenciaga, Balmain, Bape, Delvaux, Dior, Celine and, of course, the new Apple store.”

Polestar’s purchase model is digital, so the consumer can order a car at home, online or at the showroom. At the showroom, Visitors can schedule test drives and customize their vehicle at a digital atelier table. After purchasing an electric vehicle, can have it delivered to their home.

The 2020 Polestar

The deal comes as New Yorkers enter their sixth month living with various coronavirus restrictions, including travel bans.

With more than half of the country at the peak of their pandemic, most have opted for staycations within the tri-state.

But with less than half owning a car in the traffic-clogged metropolis, getting around has been restricted to public transport.

In May, Governor Andrew Cuomo introduced emergency legislation that allowed licensed auto dealers to sell and lease cars online during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dealerships across the state also turned to mobile apps to shift business online and allow customers to lease cars without stepping foot in a store.

According to Signature Auto Group, coronavirus has driven dealers and automotive brands to change their business strategies and invest in new sales pathways to reach the growing online consumer base.

“We believe that the automotive sales world was already seeing a technological disruption in the recent years, but this pandemic has acted like a tipping point, which will dramatically change the industry,” says the Brooklyn-based car leasing service on its blog.

Polestar’s East 59th Street showroom is one of three it will operate in through the fall. The others are in   Los Angeles and San Francisco, similarly high population centers where car ownership is low. It plans to keep two of the showrooms permanent, based on traffic.

“The showroom will allow the brand to establish a major presence in New York and get feedback from one of the best cross sections of consumers in the country. We are thrilled about the Polestar launch,” added Cushman’s Christian Stanton.

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