Summary of 2022 in Seat and Copra - the year of change (manufacturer)
Looking broadly at the electric offerings in the Volkswagen Group, a rather problematic picture begins to emerge for Seat, Audi has the e-tron family, in the Skoda Aniac, at Volkswagen the current and future ID models and also in the sporty Cupra sub-brand have long been making noises of high-voltage electricity.
Who doesn't have any left?
For Seat, which is today actually the only one of the brands in the larger production volumes of this group that simply does not offer any electric drive car at all.
Beyond that, today Seat's offer includes some of the older models in the entire concern's offer, old and relatively limited to the lower price ranges of the market, and the least profitable.
But we already know this thing, what does it mean for the future of the brand?
This is where the worrying questions begin regarding Volkswagen's motivation to continue maintaining it in light of this situation.
At least this is revealed by the words to which the CEO of Seat and Copra Wayne Griffith was mobilized at the annual press conference of SEAT.
The electric armada of Cupra is racing (photo: manufacturer's website)
In the words he delivered during the event, Griffith spoke about the fact that Copra will release a "model event" in 2024. And the main focus in these models and in the discourse regarding its future is the electric drive, "The future is electric, this means for our company that the future is Copra. Copra is for the new generation" .
The company is even considering entering the huge American market with the new Copra electric cars, although this is an expensive move, because in order to benefit from the benefits that the American government grants to electric car buyers, they must be manufactured in the USA, Canada or Mexico. And with a lot of reference to this new brand and almost without
talking Regarding Seat, when asked what this "future" means for it, he replied that "We cannot electrify both brands together.
Seat and Copra complement each other during the transition period, we don't need to decide on Seat right now."
And you have to pay attention to the term "transition period" because while Cupra will launch the Tuscan, Tremer and the Urban-Rebel that will join in 2025, three performance-oriented electric models as part of its growth strategy, there are currently no electrification plans for Seat itself.
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Won't it be in the future? (Photo: Walla! system, Udi Etzion)
These cautionary predictions regarding the future of the 73-year-old brand come precisely after another excellent year for SEAT with operating profits and turnovers that were the second highest ever for the brand - but mainly thanks to the Cupra models.
While Seat sales fell 18% last year in monetary terms, those of the Cupra jumped 93%, and today it accounts for about half of Seat's production as a company.
In 2002, more than 150,000 Cupra models were sold, compared to 79,300 in 2021 - Cupra versions for the Leon and Latka and the electric Born, which Volkswagen produces for it, alongside the twin ID.3 in Germany.
The year 2023 will also bring huge investments in the SEAT factories in Mertoral and Pamplona in northern Spain, investments that should bring them to be among the most advanced in the production sites of the entire Volkswagen Group.
Volkswagen is also setting up a battery plant in Spain for the new electric cars that Seat will produce for the group.
"We are at the beginning of a critical year in SEAT's history," said Griffith, "we know the future is electric and we have a visionary and motivated team determined to make this transition. If 2022 was the one that launched our transformation, 2023 will be the year of its acceleration. We built the Martorell 30 years ago to produce a new era of growth at Seat. Now we are in the second era, the next great milestone in the history of this company."
Will it necessarily be a Seat or a Copra that takes its place in this vision of the future?
Currently, production plans for Seat models reach 2028-2029.
Seat as a brand competes in most markets against Skoda, which is much more successful, and for many years the Volkswagen Group has been examining the future of the Spanish brand, which in the past was even rumored to be offered for sale.
One of the options being considered: turning SEAT into an electric car sharing brand.
In Europe Seat already sells electric scooters and scooters under its name, perhaps in preparation for the move.