"CUPRA on the other hand, targets a new market segment that lies between the mass market and the traditional premium market," he said. The first CUPRA vehicle, the el-Born, was designed and developed in Barcelona, and as planned, it will be manufactured in Zwickau, Germany, on VW's MEB platform, in 2021.
“Seat is, and will be even more so in the future, a company with two well-defined brands within its structure: SEAT and CUPRA,” said Isensee. “SEAT and CUPRA are two sides of the same coin. SEAT gives CUPRA the volume basis for growth in terms of production, R&D and human resources, and CUPRA allows SEAT to move its centre of gravity towards more emotional cars with a higher positioning.”
“The disruption taking place within the automotive industry is an ideal opportunity for new brands like CUPRA to emerge,” said Griffiths. “We believe the potential of CUPRA is so big that we could hit €1 billion revenue when the full product range is available in the market.”
The company has bounced back from the Covid-19 pandemic, says Isensee. “The first half of the year has been possibly one of the most challenging in SEAT’s history. The 2020 and 2021 financial years were expected to be difficult and we must now add the very serious impact of COVID-19 on the automotive industry,” he said. “In recent weeks we have begun to see a slight improvement as we began to resume activity. We are confident of a recovery, at least partially, during the second half of 2020.”
The SEAT plant in Martorell has almost completely regained its pre-coronavirus production rate and today is producing around 1,900 vehicles daily, and the Barcelona and Componentes plants are also close to returning to pre-coronavirus volumes.
The Martorell factory now heads into the second half of a year which will be marked by the start of production of the new Formentor, the first 100% CUPRA model, and the new plug-in hybrid Leon. Both vehicles will be manufactured on line 2 at the Martorell plant, which this year has launched the fourth generation of the Leon.
In addition to having 4-wheel vehicles, the SEAT brand is also going to offer 2-wheel scooters: the 100% electric SEAT MÓ eScooter 125 and the SEAT MÓ eKickScooter 65. These will initially be available on a subscription sharing model in Barcelona, highlighting the shift from vehicle maker to transport supplier.
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