Currently reading: Seat confirms plans to launch €20k electric car below Cupra
Seat boss ends speculation on brand's future; affordable EV will come when it can be built profitably

The Seat brand will live on in the future with a lower-cost electric car positioned below the Cupra range.

Seat and Cupra boss Wayne Griffiths sought to put an end to speculation about the future of the Seat brand once and for all by confirming the likelihood of such a model in the future. That speculation was in part fuelled by Thomas Schäfer, chairman of the parent company of Seat and Cupra, who said last year thatSeat’s future was Cupra”.

That future beyond today’s range of Seat models, said Griffiths, will take shape when lower-cost electric cars can be made profitably. 

“The €20,000 question is when Seat needs to be on the table and as part of the answer,” Griffiths told Autocar.

Griffiths said that while the Seat group will remain centred on Cupra for the foreseeable future as it is simply more profitable, the focus will be placed on Seat again when electrification reaches lower-priced segments and there is suitable demand for such products. 

Such a car is not an immediate priority for the Seat group as it would not be profitable today, and Griffiths said “my priority is profitability”. Parent company Seat SA made €625 million profit last year “with half of all our turnover from Cupra, and with higher profitability [than Seat]”, Cupra having helped push the group’s margins to 4.4% and now accounting for close to 50% of Seat SA’s volumes.

Cupra boss Wayne Griffiths poses with the Urbanrebel concept car

Seat has recently invested in substantial facelifts for the Ibiza and Arona, and Griffiths said their reveal was important to show the company is still committed to investing in Seat models.

Cupra and Seat models will now “both live together for at least the next five years and live in perfect harmony as they don’t get in each other’s way”, although there will be no new Cupra models launched that would also carry a Seat badge, and vice versa. To that end, all immediate Seat group launches will be Cupras.


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Griffiths added: “There is room for both [brands] and one doesn’t exclude the other. But sometimes you have to make priorities, saving your company, saving your workers and saving the future.”

Griffiths said Cupra will always be positioned above the mass market but not in the premium segment. That higher positioning of Cupra is what would exclude it from launching a model priced as low as €20,000, the Cupra entry point being the upcoming Raval, which will be a sister car to the upcoming Volkswagen Golf-sized Volkswagen ID 2 and priced between €25,000 and €30,000.

Cupra is leading the development of the Raval, ID 2 (plus the higher-riding 'ID 2X') and Skoda Epiq on a simplified version of the MEB architecture, and will build them all at its Martorell plant from 2026. The development and production of these models is part of a €10 billion investment from the Volkswagen Group in Spain that also includes a new gigafactory in Valencia.

Griffiths said these investments showed the company is committed to Seat, and the focus is now understood in Spain. Indeed, Griffiths said he had even been asked to clarify the future of Seat by the King of Spain (whose first car was an Ibiza), which he was happy to do.

Mark Tisshaw

Title: Editor

Mark is a journalist with more than a decade of top-level experience in the automotive industry. He first joined Autocar in 2009, having previously worked in local newspapers. He has held several roles at Autocar, including news editor, deputy editor, digital editor and his current position of editor, one he has held since 2017.

From this position he oversees all of Autocar’s content across the print magazine, website, social media, video, and podcast channels, as well as our recent launch, Autocar Business. Mark regularly interviews the very top global executives in the automotive industry, telling their stories and holding them to account, meeting them at shows and events around the world.

Mark is a Car of the Year juror, a prestigious annual award that Autocar is one of the main sponsors of. He has made media appearances on the likes of the BBC, and contributed to titles including What Car?Move Electric and Pistonheads, and has written a column for The Sun.

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tman247 10 May 2024

SEAT can 'confirm' all they like, but there's no guarantee it will appear at the price they hint at, and they even admit they won't build it until it's economicaly viable.

This is all about druming up interest, and a pretty pointless comment at this time.

FastRenaultFan 9 May 2024
So SEAT will continue on with an ancient range of ICE cars then. So basically SEAT is going to be the new SKODA of the VW group for a while as they will be able to heavily discount there cars as that's the only way they will sell there old new cars.
So How did SEAT get so lost in the VW Group? I will tell you because the VW/Audi group simply did not know what to do with SEAT. Just look at Skoda now. it's cars are top class and they are no longer cheap.
SEAT should have been VAGs sporty brand but they made a balls of that.
Peter Cavellini 9 May 2024

Swap profitable for affordable more like,as said by others, this is a page filler article, yes cars will be dearer in the future nobody can predict how much, but what ever the base price is then will be the cheapest you'll be able to buy.