In his speech, the President of SEAT also referred to the future of the automotive sector in Spain. “The automotive industry is going through a period of disruption. Now is the time to make strategic decisions that will enable us to lead the change and integrate new business models into our traditional business. This integration will not take place in a day or two; it will be steady and progressive”, he pointed out.
The company currently accounts for nearly 1% of Spain’s GDP and has consolidated its position as the country’s largest exporter, with a total of 3% of all national exports. With regards to production, last year the Martorell factory celebrated its 25th anniversary, during which time it made more than 10 million cars.
Stepping up connectivity and innovation
After being the first brand to integrate Waze in its cars, in 2018 SEAT also led the way in offering the Shazam music recognition app in its vehicles. Last year it also announced the creation of XMOBA, an independent company dedicated to developing and testing new mobility services, and presented the evolution of the SEAT Cristobal, which today features built-in 5G technology.
With regards to innovation and digitalisation, the company has its Metropolis:Lab Barcelona, a centre which develops software and apps for the challenges facing future mobility; CARNET, a research platform created in collaboration with the UPC and Volkswagen Group Research to develop technologies that will have an impact on Barcelona’s future mobility services, and Start4Big, a platform that includes Aigües de Barcelona, Caixabank, Naturgy, Telefónica and SEAT to connect with the best national and international start-ups aimed at finding solutions to the common challenges facing the five sectors.
In addition, SEAT advocated for the selection of Barcelona as a European capital of mobility through the Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) project on Urban Mobility.
A global brand
2018 was also a key year for moving forward in SEAT’s globalisation strategy. The company signed two agreements, in Berlin and Madrid, to be a part of the new JAC Volkswagen joint venture and establish a presence in China beginning in 2021. In addition, SEAT has consolidated its position as the Volkswagen Group company in charge of spearheading the strategy in North Africa, where the Ibiza, Arona, Leon and Ateca models are currently being assembled in the Relizane plant in Algeria for the Algerian market.
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