“Seat is focused on combustion, while Cupra is focused on electric. The idea is for the two brands to complement each other,” declares Wayne Griffiths, the CEO of Seat.
The Spanish automobile company, which belongs to the Volkswagen Group, has been developing the Cupra sports brand for the past five years.
The company’s executive announces that while Cupra will pursue the electrification of automobiles, Seat will focus its offerings on combustion engines and electric micromobility.
The CEO’s goal is to bring zero-emission mobility to a segment of the population for whom it is currently unaffordable: young people.
Through micromobility, Seat saw an opportunity to engage young buyers in the market.
“Battery-powered vehicles for young people will have a value below €20,000,” Griffiths reveals.
The reason, according to the CEO, is to have a strong presence in different markets without competing with sales from both brands.
Seat, with its SEAT Mó electric scooter, has shown strong sales figures, and a range of models based on this scooter is expected.
On the other hand, Cupra recently had the official presentation of its Tavascan electric vehicle, which will come in two models: Tavascan Endurance and Tavascan VZ.
The first offers a range of 547 kilometers and a maximum power of 210 kW.
The second model has a range of 517 kilometers and a power of 250 kW.
Both are expected to hit the market by 2024.
More than positive results
In 2022, Cupra achieved its best numbers in its five years of existence, despite Wayne Griffiths insisting on the impossibility of manufacturing electric vehicles due to supply chain crisis and rising raw material costs.
Last year, the company reached over 150,000 registered vehicles, nearly double the total sales of its first four years.
Revenue grew by 14% compared to 2021, despite a 4% decrease in sales. This was due to a 18% increase in per-vehicle income.
During the first two months of 2023, Seat sold 71,500 cars, a 27% increase compared to the same period last year, thanks to the normalization of semiconductor supply.
If this scenario continues, Griffiths is confident that Seat will increase its sales in the current year.
By brands, Seat deliveries increased by 12% and Cupra deliveries by 75%.
Seat closed 2022 with a positive balance of 68 million euros, compared to a loss of 256 million in the previous year, which was addressed through a cost reduction plan that included early retirement and voluntary severance packages.
Cupra accounts for 40% of Seat’s profits, and they expect it to reach 50% in 2023.
Its rapid growth leads to estimates of potentially registering 500,000 vehicles per year in the near future. By 2030, they aspire to be part of the ranking of the top 100 global brands.
Marketing that goes beyond vehicles
Behind Cupra’s positive numbers, there is an active marketing strategy that seeks to innovate with digital formats.
This demonstrates to their competitors that seeking sales through dealerships and traditional advertising has limited reach for certain audiences.
One of the main objectives of the company’s marketing department is to attract more people to the so-called “Cupra Tribe”.
As part of their digital action plan, the brand has created an online platform called “Cupra e-Garage en el Cabo de Formentor”.
It is an immersive virtual space where users can customize their own avatar and interact with others through chat and audio.
In the metaverse, users can explore Cupra models and find all kinds of content about the brand.
Ignasi Prieto, the head of marketing, stated that they are working on the development of a live concert streaming platform and co-producing a television series focused on sports cars, which will be broadcasted on a video-on-demand platform.
Furthermore, Cupra’s involvement in eSports is well-known.
eSports are video game competitions that have become highly popular events with live audiences.
Since this year, Cupra has been the official automotive partner of KOI, the eSports team created by streamer and presenter Ibai Llanos and former FC Barcelona player Gerard Piqué.
The partnership began last year when the brands joined as team sponsors, and the announcement resulted in Cupra’s social media channels gaining over 150,000 followers in less than 24 hours.