The lack of interest in electric cars drove VW to the point that it canceled the confirmed end of Seat, leaving the back door open
6 hours ago | Petr Prokopec
It should have been a done deal. According to the head of Volkswagen, Seat should have had no future and only the electric Cupra should have remained from the Spanish automaker. Now this is not the case, according to the director of Seat, the future of the brand is open again. If electromobility fails, VW will still be happy for Seat.
A pointlessly wasted chance. This is what we characterized as the determination of the parent concern Volkswagen to kill the Spanish Seat as a producer of purely internal combustion cars. Only the Cupra brand should have a future, which sooner or later would instead offer purely electric cars. It was ready, planned, at the IAA Mobility, i.e. this year’s parody of the former Frankfurt Motor Show in Munich, this was confirmed by the head of Volkswagen, Thomas Schäfer.
He announced that “the future of Seat is the Cupra”. And he added that the existing portfolio of the Spanish brand will continue to be sold until around 2030, after which it should no longer offer cars. We called it a senseless missed opportunity because we thought how much wiser it would be to keep internal combustion cars like Seats and electric cars like Cupra in the range and let customers choose, leaving room for maneuver for any future. But dogma has no alternatives in the morning, dogma knows only one truth, and that is electric cars in this case.
Or were they? Perhaps it already looks that way, because VW is finding under the weight of events that it will be impossible to sell electric cars to everyone. Schäfer thus reminds those who joined the Communist Party in October 1989, because at the time when he uttered the above-mentioned words, he must have seen very well that the barge of a purely electric future was still sinking in the harbor. But it is not surprising for this man – in recent years he has become famous mainly as a person who, following the example of politicians, has completely lost touch with reality. After all, he demonstrated this brilliantly when he was at the head of the car company from Mladá Boleslav, which he pushed in an electric direction as if he had passed away.
However, a lot has happened in the last few weeks and VW is quickly taming its electric madness. We wouldn’t dare to say that common sense is starting to return to the industry, these are virtues out of necessity, but the instinct of self-preservation still works. In short, car managers are running into tears, so they prefer to start loudly opening the tailgate. Most recently, Wayne Griffiths, who is in charge of Seat and Cupra at VW, did so. The one interviewed for DPA showed how easy it is to turn 180 degrees in a few weeks. The confirmed end of Seat and keeping only the Cupra is not happening: “It’s not an either/or game here. I am happy for both brands,” he said.
He soon clarified that VW does not intend to end Seat, its fate will be decided by the fate of attempts to electrify everything. “The Spanish brand will continue to play the role of a manufacturer of affordable cars, we have time until 2035, until then we can sell cars with emissions,” he confirmed that the end of Seat for the year 2030 is no longer planned. And the reasons? “Currently, it is not possible to make money on a small electric car, which would move in the segment typical for Seat. For something like this we need a different platform and cheaper batteries. A lot will happen between now and 2035,” Griffiths continued.
It’s another manifestation of how automakers, at the first slip-up, cancel their previous electric plans that really couldn’t be fulfilled. Now it seems that in the case of Seat and Cupra, the concern will choose a similar procedure to that which will happen with Porsche, i.e. it will keep the sale of both electric and internal combustion cars under one roof. It’s okay, it’s normal, it’s logical. Rather, we have to wonder: Why has VW opposed it so far? What could go wrong with that – as opposed to a single card bet?
Today, the Seat Ibiza starts at CZK 469,900, which is not exactly low. But with an electric drive, it would be even more expensive, and therefore practically unsaleable. It was always clear, until now people in the VW Group are holding their noses. Photo: Seat
Source: Auto Bild
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