Seat won't release an EV before 2026 as Cupra sales boom

Cupra Urban Rebel front lead static

Seat sibling brand Cupra will launch a production version of the Urban Rebel concept in 2025

Seat and Cupra cannot be electrified at once, says CEO Wayne Griffith

Seat won’t release an electric car while Cupra is selling them, for fear of cannibalising sales, and will instead focus on combustion cars and micro-mobility.

The news, confirmed by Seat and Cupra CEO Wayne Griffiths, means Seat will not launch its hotly tipped first electric model before 2026, if at all, given that Cupra will release two new EVs over the next two years – the Tavascan in 2024 and a production version of the Urban Rebel concept in 2025.

Instead, Seat will focus on its combustion offerings and “electric micro-mobility”, building on its Seat Mó electric scooter. The firm is also looking to grow the business with a four-wheeled variant too, as first previewed by the Minimo at the end of the last decade before the model was shelved due to the Covid pandemic.

“The new electric cars we are focused on at the moment are for Cupra,” said Griffiths at the group’s annual press conference in Barcelona today. “We cannot electrify both brands at once. Seat is combustion. Cupra is BEV.

“I think the idea [that the two brands] complement each other, being in the market at the same time, particularly during this transition phase, makes a lot of sense.”

Speaking about the future of the Seat brand, especially regarding future car models, he added: “We are working on a strategy for micro-mobility to build a four-wheeler [the Minimo] and decisions on the future electrification of the Seat brand [in terms of cars] will be taken at a later date.”

The move comes as the young Cupra brand posted its best ever results in 2022, with 150,000 cars sold – almost double its entire sales in its first four years.

This led the Seat group to post operating profits of €179 million (£158m), its first time in the black since 2019. The firm also recorded a turnover of €10.5 billion (£9.3bn), the second-largest turnover in the company’s 73-year history.

Cupra, which Griffiths said is expected to take around half of the group’s overall sales this year, is targeting 500,000 sales a year in the mid-term, as it aims to become one of the “top 100 best global brands by 2030”.

Source: Autocar

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