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Seat will launch first EV in 2020 as part of new model offensive

Luca de Meo

Seat will enter the EV race in 2020 when it launches its first fully-electric vehicle as part of a new model offensive which will see a new vehicle launched every six months from 2018.

The brand's forthcoming Tarraco SUV and Cupra Ateca performance SUV will be the first new model additions to the Catalonian brand’s line-up as part of a six-model new product offensive which looks set to transform the content of its UK car dealership network.

News of the strategy comes after the brand revealed plans to brand its Cupra models with their own logo and “Cupra corner” sections of its showrooms.

Seat will also develop a network of “Cupra specialists” in the coming year.

Luca de Meo, Seat’s president, announced the brand’s growth plans at an annual results presentation.“It’s time to look to the future with the ambition to grow,” he said.

The brand said that its first fully electric model, to be launched in 2020, would be capable of a 500 kilometre electric-only range and would add a CUV (Crossover Utility Vehicle) to its growing model line-up.

Next year the new generation Seat Leon will be available in dealerships with two variants, the five-door model and the ST estate version. A plug-in hybrid version of the new Leon will follow in 2020.

Luca de Meo confirmed that “Seat is going to launch one new car every six months until 2020”, adding: “2020 will be Seat’s year of electrification.”

He also reaffirmed the company’s commitment to vehicles fuelled with compressed natural gas (CNG).

De Meo said: “We are leading the CNG vehicle technical development project within the Volkswagen Group. With the Arona TGI we are launching this year we will have the only SUV in the world powered with natural gas.”

Seat reported in its annual results that it had achieve an after-tax profit of £245.7 million, 21.3% more than in 2016 before extraordinary effects.

Turnover rose by 11.1% during the period, setting a new record for the brand at around £8.7 billion.

The manufacturer’s investments and R&D expenses amounted close to £874 million in 2017, the highest figure in the last 25 years, meanwhile.

During his presentation on the company’s future plans, de Meo indicated that Seat’s future growth will be based on four pillars: “more brands, more markets, more cars and more energies.” 

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