Accounts in the red for Seat, but Cupra grows by 11%. The plan to produce half a million electric vehicles is ready

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Electrification and Australia are the new frontiers of Seatthe Spanish manufacturer of the Volkswagen group looking ahead after a difficult 2020 marked by a pandemic. Last year the sales of the Catalan house stood at 427,000 units (Germany alone is worth over a quarter of registrations), down by 25.6% (Italy limited the decline to 17.5%) compared to volumes 2019 record (574,078). The contraction in turnover, also thanks to the performance of the new brand Cupra (900 million), was lower: -21% to 8.784 billion euros. Last year, Cupra sales rose 11% to 27,400 units (over 70,000 from 2018 onwards).

“The operating result was further negatively influenced by the expenses related to emissions of over 260 million euros”, the manufacturer said in presenting the financial statements. The balance of the operating result was equal to -418 million euros (+352 in 2019). In practice, Seat lost 194 million, while last year it had recorded a profit of 346.

“In 2021 we must return to profitability. This is the financial goal, ”he summed up Wayne Griffiths, the manager who took over from Luca de Meo at the top of the group. A key contribution should come from the range update, including the increased offer of plug-in variants.

The top manager made it clear that the horizon is much broader, expressed in Future Fast Forward plan. He announced that in 2025 the manufacturer will launch a zero-emission vehicle on the Meb platform of the urban group with a price between 20,000 and 25,000 euros to “make electric mobility accessible to the masses”. The dimensions will be those of the Arona, but about the Griffiths brand has not revealed details. The CEO explained that the goal is to manufacture it in Martorell.

Griffiths anticipated a willingness to produce over half a million electric vehicles at the Martorell site, possibly even for Skoda and Audi. “This project is destined to become the engine for the transformation of the Spanish automotive industry (the second in Europe, ed). The support of the Government and the European Commission are necessary ”, summed up the head of Seat. “The plan is to transform our Technical Center, the only one of its kind in southern Europe and an essential R&D resource for the region,” added Griffiths.

The SUV Tavascanthe one that according to the current roadmap is the second full electric model of the Cupra brand, will arrive in 2024. The first, the Born, is expected later this year. According to the manager, the new brand will contribute to the increase in volumes of the Seat group between 5 and 10% with a doubling of sales and an even greater increase in turnover. In 2022 it will be Cupra to bring the Spanish brand into Australia, an interesting and demanding market, not indifferent to high performance. The landing in the “red continent” will be the first step towards the “subsequent expansion in the Asia-Pacific region”.

This year, in the meantime, Seat will present the updated Ibiza and Arona. The group will also bring the declinations to the market 6 model plug-in: of Leon and Sportstourer (both also offered as Cupra), of Tarraco and Cupra Formentor.

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