Spanish car maker SEAT, part of the Volkswagen group, is to spend €5bn on R&D over the next four years to electrify its range of vehicles. It is also launching electric scooters that it will rent out.
Alongside the development of CUPRA as a brand for its electric vehicles, the company will recruit 100 people to work at SEAT:CODE, a new software development centre in the centre of Barcelona. The 150 team will supply software for SEAT, CUPRA and other Volkswagen vehicles.
SEAT says it will invest the €5bn from 2020 to 2025 for new R&D projects for vehicle development at SEAT’s Technical Centre specifically to electrify the range. The cash will also be used for equipment and facilities at the Martorell, Barcelona and Componentes plants.
“This investment plan is our way of dealing with the future with determination and optimism, so that we will have a stronger, more innovative and more sustainable company. Our willingness is that Martorell will manufacture electric vehicles from 2025 onward, when the electric vehicle market will have grown,” said Carsten Isensee, president of SEAT.
“Our goal is to drive the transformation of the automotive sector in Spain. To ensure the future of the car industry in Spain we need the collaboration of the central, regional and local Administrations. We cannot do it alone. The plan presented by the Spanish Government is a move in the right direction to continue developing the automotive sector.”
Cupra will be a new brand, separate from Seat. “Seat and CUPRA are essential for the development of the company. Each one has its clear role, its own personality and attributes and addresses different customer profiles. They therefore fully complement and cannot substitute each other,” said Wayne Griffiths, CEO of Cupra and Vice-president for Sales and Marketing for Seat. “Seat is the entry gate to the Volkswagen Group: we have the youngest customers, on average 10 years younger, and many first-time buyers."