Herbert Diess, CEO of the Volkswagen Group, has called for calm in response to critical voices and rumors that indicate that the SEAT firm is destined to disappear in favor of its CUPRA division, an aspirational subsidiary that arouses more interest both in the public and, it seems, within the German consortium itself.
It has been through his own Linked In profile The German director wanted to make clear the importance of SEAT within the Volkswagen Group’s plans, since it is responsible for the development of the group’s platform for affordable electric cars, called MEB Small, in addition to, according to Diess himself, “coordinating the activities of the group in the Iberian Peninsula and lead the electrification of Spain to boost Europe”.
Beyond the weight of the Spanish firm within the plans of the Volkswagen Group itself, most of the criticism has focused on the lack of latest-generation electric cars at SEAT, with the balance declining in favor of CUPRA, which in addition to the Born which is already on the market, will also have in its future the series models derived from the conceptual Tavascan and Urbanrevel, while SEAT only has the electric Mii, an urban model with short autonomy.
Diess wanted to justify himself by alleging that, given the current situation in the sector, the Volkswagen Group has preferred to give priority to the profitability that CUPRA currently offers over SEAT. The German commented: “In times of limited supply of semiconductors, we are sure to prioritize the production of higher-margin CUPRAS over some entry-level SEAT models. Also for electrification, we prioritize higher-margin CUPRA models or we are even launching new models only under this brand, what makes a lot of economic sense. Our dealers also benefit from this setup.”
Despite the fact that SEAT is the only brand in the group that does not have any model on a state-of-the-art electric car platform, Diess affirms: “The main SEAT brand is stronger than ever: In recent years, we have invested more in SEAT than ever, and with the Ibiza, Arona, Ateca, León, León Sportstourer and Tarracco we are having the strongest and widest product portfolio in decades, and probably than ever.”
“To be very clear: CUPRA is not here to replace SEAT, but rather helps it to be much more profitable”sentenced Herbert Diess, who in the past has commented that SEAT “is running out of opportunities” after closing another year with losses in 2021.