SEAT to launch 6 electric and plug-in hybrid models, develop smaller version of MEB for lower-cost EVs
SEAT, a member of the Volkswagen Group, presented its electric strategy which, until the beginning of 2021, includes six electric and plug-in hybrid models. The electric version of the Mii and el-Born will be the brand’s first two fully electric models, while the new generation Leon and the Tarraco will feature a plug-in hybrid version. The CUPRA Leon and the CUPRA Formentor will also have a plug-in hybrid variant.
SEAT President Luca de Meo also announced at the company’s annual media conference that the CUPRA Formentor, the new CUV that was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show, will be built at the Martorell factory.
For the first time in the history of the company, SEAT will collaborate with the Volkswagen brand to develop a new vehicle platform—a smaller version of the Modular Electric Drive Toolkit (MEB) on which multiple vehicles of the size of around four meters in length by different brands, SEAT among them, will be made.
The goal of the new platform is to develop affordable electric vehicles, with an entry level price below €20,000. More than 300 engineers will be participating in this project in Spain.
SEAT is playing a new role within the Volkswagen Group taking on even more responsibility. This year’s achievements underline SEAT’s potential to make use of growth opportunities and open new markets. The small electric platform project is a great step towards an even more affordable electric mobility. SEAT will realize the first electric vehicle that is especially designed for urban journeys.—Volkswagen AG CEO Dr. Herbert Diess
The electric offensive reaches further than new models and also encompasses a micromobility strategy which, as announced by the CEO of SEAT during the Mobile World Congress, the company is going to lead for the Volkswagen Group. The recently unveiled Minimó concept car plays a part in this strategy and the electric SEAT eXS kickscooter are two examples of urban micromobility solutions put forward by the company.
In 2018 SEAT obtained the best results in its history. Profit after tax went up to €294 million—4.6% more than the previous year. Moreover, operating profit grew by 93.2% to stand at €223 million (2017: 116) and turnover amounted to €9.991 billion—4.6% higher than the 2017 result (9.552). All amounts set new historic records. In the past five years, SEAT’s turnover has grown by 33%.
In addition, deliveries increased to the highest level in SEAT’s nearly seven decades of existence, and the figure of 517,600 vehicles sold (10.5% more than in 2017), made SEAT the fastest growing brand in Europe last year.
Boosted by the Ateca and the Arona, selling models with a greater contribution margin helped the improvement of SEAT’s profit results. In its first year as an independent brand, CUPRA was instrumental in increasing the company’s bottom line after sales went up by 40% to reach 14,400 units.
In 2018, SEAT exported 80% of its production output and consolidated itself as Spain’s largest industrial exporter, with close to 3% of the country’s total export figure. The goal for forthcoming years is to step up the company’s globalization.
In this context, it is rolling out an ambitious growth strategy in North Africa, where it will lead the Volkswagen Group’s vehicle assembly project in Algeria and aims to increase its presence in the region in the medium term. Latin America is another potential territory for brand expansion, and there are plans to begin operations in Chile in the second half of 2019 and strengthen its presence in Colombia. In China, SEAT is a part of the JAC Volkswagen joint venture and preparations are being made for its entry in the world’s largest car market.