Seat has announced an ambitious investment plan to be carried out between 2020 and 2025. The automobile company plans to invest a total of five billion euros over this period, to be essentially dedicated to R&D projects for the development of vehicles in its technical center. The main aim is to electrify the range of automobiles in the Volkswagen group brand, and improve the equipment and facilities in their plants in Martorell and Barcelona and in the parts factory located in El Prat de Llobregat.
In the long term, the investment plan is intended to prepare the company for the development of new models. It also aims to prepare the plants in Catalonia to produce new projects that are guaranteed to conserve jobs. For example, the new Seat Mó brand – recently presented – represents the company's first incursion into the two-wheel segment.
Strong, innovative and sustainable
Carsten Isensee, CEO of Seat, describes the investment plan as “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”.
Isensee aspires not only to modernize the brand he heads, but the whole sector, and he calls for public assistance for this purpose: “Our goal is to drive 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”.
A two-brand strategy
Seat's strategy is to promote Cupra as a differentiated brand focused on the premium sports car segment. According to Wayne Griffiths, vice president of sales and marketing at Seat and CEO of Cupra: “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”.
Isensee also refers to the two-brand strategy: “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 center of gravity towards more emotional cars with a higher positioning”.
Together, both brands have a total of 15,000 employees in three plants: Martorell, Barcelona and Spare Parts. Martorell is also the location of the technical center and the design center, whereas the Casa Seat space and the Code software development center have been installed in Barcelona, and have over 150 developers whose mission consists of driving the company's digital transformation and creating digital products and solutions.
100% electric model
One of the first fruits of the two brand strategy has been the development of the Cupra el-Born, a 100% electric model designed and developed in Barcelona and which will come to market in 2021. According to Griffiths, “it is the living proof that performance and electrification are a great match”.
The new model will be manufactured in Germany. Martorell will continue to be the production center for the new Fomentor – the first 100% Cupra model – whose production will begin in the second half of this year along with the new plug-in hybrid version of the Seat León, once the crisis caused by Covid-19 is resolved.
Last updated: 01|10|2020