Seat Has Grown The Most In Europe After The Pandemic

Wayne Griffiths (Manchester, England, Great Britain, 1966), is about to serve two years as president and CEO of both Seat and Cupra, a position in which no less than Luca de Meo happened, when the Italian traveled to the Renault’s tallest chair. Griffiths has had to deal with the great Covid-19 crisis, which has affected global vehicle production so badly, and which continues to do so now with the so-called ‘semiconductor crisis’, which is delaying production and deliveries by a moment when Seat and Cupra are clearly upward brands.

Griffiths has spearheaded the presence of Spanish brands at the IAA Mobility in Munich, especially Cupra, which has presented two prototypes and, in addition, has opened a dealership, a ‘garage’ in the heart of the Bavarian capital.

How is the growth of a brand as special as Cupra?

The opening of this Cupra Garage City in Munich demonstrates the progress the brand has made in remarkable time. Only three years ago we launched the Cupra brand with great ambition to create a new brand when others were disappearing the most. Many told us that if we were crazy or if we had thought it through, that if it was only ‘marketing’, that if we were going to comply. I believe that we are complying. We are launching the models as planned, the Cupra Ateca, the Cupra León, the Cupra Formentor, which has had a huge impact in Europe.

The Formentor may turn out to be the best-selling car in our range. It is one of the most popular plug-in models, since 50% of the Formentors that we are selling are plug-in hybrids. And now we are here, rapidly following this path, with our latest model, the Cupra Born, the first one hundred percent electric of the firm, with a range of 500 kilometers, and reaching the market at the perfect time, especially in Spain now with the aid plans, which are going to push electrification, which continues to grow in Europe.

In Spain the electrified base is much lower than in Germany or France, but we are optimistic that it will accelerate. And we are not only showing what we do today, but also our vision beyond, our electric small car project for the Volkswagen Group. In order to meet the CO2 targets, electromobility must be democratized, it must be made more accessible. Spain, being the second largest country of manufacturers in Europe, has this responsibility and this tradition of manufacturing small cars in Spain.

Then it’s up to us to play our role, We are very active, we have come a long way in a short time, when we started talking about this project just a year ago. A project that will not only transform Seat, but will help transform the automotive industry in Spain. It is a great project, a great responsibility, a project not only of Seat, of the Volkswagen Group, but even of the country, even of Europe. We are progressing very well, you already know what car we want to make.

It will not be the same as the racing prototype that we present now, but it will be very similar. It will be a Cupra brand car that we will launch in 2025. It was also announced that the Volkswagen Group will develop the platform for this car, and we will be responsible for developing the models for the Group’s brands, and our technical teams are already working on this. in Martorell. we have come a long way in a short time, when we started talking about this project just a year ago.

A project that will not only transform Seat, but will help transform the automotive industry in Spain. It is a great project, a great responsibility, a project not only of Seat, of the Volkswagen Group, but even of the country, even of Europe. We are progressing very well, you already know what car we want to make. It will not be the same as the racing prototype that we present now, but it will be very similar. It will be a Cupra brand car that we will launch in 2025.

It was also announced that the Volkswagen Group will develop the platform for this car, and we will be responsible for developing the models for the Group’s brands, and our technical teams are already working on this. in Martorell. we have come a long way in a short time, when we started talking about this project just a year ago. A project that will not only transform Seat, but will help transform the automotive industry in Spain.

It is a great project, a great responsibility, a project not only of Seat, of the Volkswagen Group, but even of the country, even of Europe. We are progressing very well, you already know what car we want to make. It will not be the same as the racing prototype that we present now, but it will be very similar.

It will be a Cupra brand car that we will launch in 2025. It was also announced that the Volkswagen Group will develop the platform for this car, and we will be responsible for developing the models for the Group’s brands, and our technical teams are already working on this. in Martorell. when we started talking about this project just a year ago. A project that will not only transform Seat, but will help transform the automotive industry in Spain. It is a great project, a great responsibility, a project not only of Seat, of the Volkswagen Group, but even of the country, even of Europe.

We are progressing very well, you already know what car we want to make. It will not be the same as the racing prototype that we present now, but it will be very similar. It will be a Cupra brand car that we will launch in 2025. It was also announced that the Volkswagen Group will develop the platform for this car, and we will be responsible for developing the models for the Group’s brands, and our technical teams are already working on this. in Martorell. when we started talking about this project just a year ago.

A project that will not only transform Seat, but will help transform the automotive industry in Spain. It is a great project, a great responsibility, a project not only of Seat, of the Volkswagen Group, but even of the country, even of Europe. We are progressing very well, you already know what car we want to make. It will not be the same as the racing prototype that we present now, but it will be very similar. It will be a Cupra brand car that we will launch in 2025.

It was also announced that the Volkswagen Group will develop the platform for this car, and we will be responsible for developing the models for the Group’s brands, and our technical teams are already working on this. in Martorell. it will help transform the automotive industry in Spain. It is a great project, a great responsibility, a project not only of Seat, of the Volkswagen Group, but even of the country, even of Europe. We are progressing very well, you already know what car we want to make.

It will not be the same as the racing prototype that we present now, but it will be very similar. It will be a Cupra brand car that we will launch in 2025. It was also announced that the Volkswagen Group will develop the platform for this car, and we will be responsible for developing the models for the Group’s brands, and our technical teams are already working on this. in Martorell. it will help transform the automotive industry in Spain. It is a great project, a great responsibility, a project not only of Seat, of the Volkswagen Group, but even of the country, even of Europe.

We are progressing very well, you already know what car we want to make. It will not be the same as the racing prototype that we present now, but it will be very similar. It will be a Cupra brand car that we will launch in 2025. It was also announced that the Volkswagen Group will develop the platform for this car, and we will be responsible for developing the models for the Group’s brands, and our technical teams are already working on this. in Martorell. even from Europe. We are progressing very well, you already know what car we want to make.

It will not be the same as the racing prototype that we present now, but it will be very similar. It will be a Cupra brand car that we will launch in 2025. It was also announced that the Volkswagen Group will develop the platform for this car, and we will be responsible for developing the models for the Group’s brands, and our technical teams are already working on this. in Martorell. even from Europe. We are progressing very well, you already know what car we want to make.

It will not be the same as the racing prototype that we present now, but it will be very similar. It will be a Cupra brand car that we will launch in 2025. It was also announced that the Volkswagen Group will develop the platform for this car, and we will be responsible for developing the models for the Group’s brands, and our technical teams are already working on this. in Martorell.

What is the future of the Martorell and Navarra plants?

To clarify some statements of where the car will be manufactured and when, we have our plan in Martorell and in our Pamplona plant, and there will be several phases for electrification, not everything will be done at the same time. But the plan is that we first launch in 2025 with the goal and ambition of making up to 500,000 cars in Martorell, which is our capacity, in a first phase for Cupra and other Volkswagen Group brands.

The phases of which factory each brand will go to are still being discussed. It is clear that not only will Martorell be electrified, because over time so will the other production plants of the Volkswagen Group.

What will be the role of Seat in the future?

When talking about Seat, it is necessary to differentiate Seat as a Spanish company, with two brands: Seat and Cupra. We have made Seat the fastest growing brand in Europe after the pandemic. In Spain we have not only increased sales, but we have also changed the image that it is a car for young people.

Seat has never been stronger. But with electrification you cannot do everything at the same time, so we have decided to start with the Cupra brand for electrification, because we see that there is a ‘match’. If you go to the IAA (Munich Motor Show) today, you are going to see many electric, sustainable cars, but all the arguments are rational, and we have emotional solutions. That is why Cupra will launch a new electric model in 2025. And we are working with the other brands of the Group to develop their electric models as well.

¿Cuándo tendrá Seat su modelo eléctrico?

Seat will have its own electric model under the name Cupra. We have not yet decided when there will be an exclusive electric model from Seat. (Mikel Palomera, general director of Seat and Cupra, also present at the Griffiths appearance before the media, has an impact: “Seat already has electric models.

The transition clearly in Spain is going to be through plug-in hybrids, from our point of view And Seat has an interesting range of plug-in hybrids, and then the customer market, as always, is the one that decides. Depending on how the market evolves, the brand ranges will also evolve “). And Griffiths adds: “The ‘mix’ of plug-ins in the Seat range, with the Leon, is growing not only in the Formentor, where we already have 50%. But the technology cannot be duplicated in each brand. You have to focus. And each client has a different profile. “

How long will the plug-in hybrid last?

There is a discussion of how long the plug-in hybrid will last, and if it is a long-term transitional technology. I think the car makes a lot of sense, especially in countries where people do not have a garage or have to park outside. I believe that the plug-in hybrid market is going to be strong in the coming years. And there will be independent demand for subsidies or regulations because you can also drive a plug-in hybrid with zero emissions, so if there is a regulation in a city that you can only drive with an electrified car, then you can do it with a plug-in hybrid.

How are Seat and Cupra facing the semiconductor crisis?

The semiconductor crisis is going to have a big impact on this year’s result, of course, but after the summer we are a bit more optimistic. It has affected us a lot in July and August, and in countries like Malaysia and others, because of the Covid there is a very important impact that has to improve in the second semester. So it’s going to continue to be difficult, but we have to be flexible, and we work very closely with our union representatives to have this flexibility. Of course, we are prioritizing our plug-in hybrid models, the electric car that will come out now, because they are very important models to meet the CO2 target.

How long is it taking to deliver the new vehicles?

We are taking too long for deliveries. And it is because we have the highest demand that we have had in our history, not only for Cupra, but also for Seat. The Formentor is selling in an incredible way. There will be great demand for the Cupra Born as well. So delivery times are too long, although we are doing everything we can, especially with electric cars, which we are putting priority on.

When is it decided whether an electric vehicle will be produced at the Martorell factory?

Our intention is to produce electric cars in Martorell from 2025. We have the capacity to manufacture 500,000 cars. If we want to be at that level in 2025 we have to make decisions at the end of this year. And the Navarra factory will also manufacture electric cars in the future.

Isn’t Seat a little late in the race for the small electric vehicle?

We launched an electric, the Cupra Born, in 2021. It will be a small vehicle, very accessible, at a price with the help of a Seat León. We are not waiting for 2025. We also announced that we are going to launch the Cupra Tavascán. And of course, you cannot forget the importance of the plug-in hybrid, which will be very important in this time until 2025. The plug-in hybrid will play a bigger role than the electric one.

Are they meeting CO2 targets?

At the demand level of course we will meet the objectives, but at the supply level it is something else. But if we prioritize semiconductors for plug-in hybrids to protect, for example, the launch of the Born, then we are launching this car in a very difficult time, not only here, but throughout Europe. In terms of objectives, we are fulfilling our plan.

UrbanRebel and Tavascán Extreme E Concepts
The Cupra brand has undoubtedly been one of the most active in the IAA Mobility edition, the Munich Motor Show, which is still being held. And it is that in addition to taking advantage of the occasion to inaugurate an exclusive dealership, a digital store more than a dealership to use, a Cupra City Garage, in the center of the Bavarian capital, the subsidiary firm of Seat has presented not one, but two prototypes in an exhibition in which the ‘concept’ have been conspicuous by their presence, with examples from most of the major brands on the European market today.

On the one hand, we have the Cupra UrbanRebel Concept, a circuit car prototype that represents the first advance of what will be the Volkswagen Group’s urban electric vehicle.

And it is that Martorell, Seat’s factory in Barcelona, ​​plans to produce up to half a million electric vehicles by 2025, for the entire Volkswagen Group, and the UrbanRebel could well be the basis on which urban electric vehicles were developed for Seat, Cupra, Skoda, etc.

On the other hand, Cupra has also presented in Munich a prototype, another, of its next model, the Tavascán. Only in this case we have been shown a really extreme version, dressed in competition to be a reference in the increasingly prestigious competitions of electric models. The Cupra Tavascán Extreme E Concept, apart from its imposing appearance, accelerates from 0 to 100 km / h in four seconds from nothing.

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