After two years of red numbers, Seat SA makes money again. The company, however, sells fewer cars and in 2022 it barely put 232,700 units on the market, far from the 391,200 cars registered in 2021. Cupra, again, is the key.
And is that Seat SA is formed by the Seat and Cupra brands. The association of both companies also saw sales drop significantly (18.1%), with Seat weighing in on the enormous growth of Cupra which managed to place a total of 152,900 units in 2022, also a long way from the 79,300 cars it placed on the market in 2022. That is, Cupra sold 92.7% more in 2022 than in 2021.
All this confirms two questions: the bet on cupra It is being a great success for the Volkswagen Group and Seat does not fit into the future of the European car, as it is being built.
38% more expensive
The European car market has become significantly more expensive in recent years. Analyzing the market, we can already see that the prices of vehicles have risen significantly, especially among vehicles below 30,000 euros which are, in fact, the most sold.
This trend is also repeated in Seat SA, if Seat and Cupra, as a whole, managed to enter black numbers and get out of the losses of the last two years (despite selling fewer cars) it was thanks to a significant increase in the average ticket of the cars they sell. In 2018, customers spent an average of €14,450 on Seat SA. In 2022, that number rose to € 19,920.
Last year alone, increased spending soared 18%, devouring all of the inflation since 2014 in a single year. It is no coincidence that in the same period Cupra almost doubled its sales.
“You’ve heard me say the future is electric and that, for our brand, means that the future is cupra“, stressed Wayne Griffiths, CEO of Seat, during the presentation of the results of the year last year, celebrated a few minutes ago. Worldwide”.
Already last year it became clear that the Volkswagen Group is repositioning Seat. The Martorell factory received both good and bad news. Both, incidentally, expected.
Firstly, Seat’s home will become a manufacturing plant for small electric vehicles for other companies in the group. Griffiths confirmed something that was already expected: the new Volkswagen ID. 2all will be manufactured on Spanish soil. Together with the Pamplona plant, the target is to produce between 2025 and 2030 an amount of three million small electric vehicles for the conglomerate.
This will cause Seat to lose weight by leaps and bounds. Griffiths confirmed that he doesn’t expect a new platform for the rest of the decade, and while he hasn’t completely closed the door, the impression is that one doesn’t exist or is expected.
Therefore, Seat’s product offer will be maintained over time and without a severe electrification of its range, the company is doomed to disappear as we know it. The first victim, according to the company’s CEO, could be the Arona seat. The small brand will be financially unfeasible if Euro 7 ends up arriving in 2025 with limits as ambitious as expected.
The objective, therefore, is to promote Cupra. If electric cars are the option chosen by the European Union, the company already has a promising range of models to continue growing, a bet on the sports car, aspirational and more aggressive than other models of the Volkswagen Group. For now, the plan outlined by Luca de Meo (who also replicated it with Abarth at Fiat and wants to do the same with Alpine at Renault) seems to be on the right track.
The plans in question environmental and in road safety, vehicles are getting more expensive and more and more utility vehicles are saying goodbye to us. This is the case with the Ford Fiesta and perhaps the Arona. The strategy of selling in large volumes with very small profit margins seems doomed to failure in the transition to electric cars. A movement that is leaving Seat without an audience.
The output looks like Seat seems to be relegated to micromobility. To a question from a colleague during the press conference, Griffiths confirmed that the brand is very interested in this plan, specifying that it may be the company to offer “electric mobility in urban areas for the youngest”.
The company has been moving in this direction for a long time, with motorcycles and electric scooters. The question is whether it will be able to establish itself in a market saturated with supply. They’ve already tried it out for years but ended up recognizing that car sharing was not profitable: “It’s not possible to quality car sharing at the price that customers ask for”, explained Lucas Casasnovas, then responsible for urban mobility at Seat.
It seems clear, therefore, that there is only one place for one general brand within the Volkswagen Group and that brand is Skoda. The country mentions that the German conglomerate is strengthening the presence of the Czechs in new markets, giving it the leadership of the entire group in Southeast Asia (Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia or Thailand) and North Africa, a decision that, at first, will have matched Seat, according to the newspaper.
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