The 15,000 people who make up the SEAT S.A. team are prepared for all kinds of challenges. They proved this to be true throughout 2022, when they worked hard to manage COVID-19, the semiconductor crisis or the consequences of the war in Ukraine and subsequent energy crisis. “Those challenges made us more efficient, robust and resilient” says SEAT and CUPRA CEO Wayne Griffiths. And all this with their sights set on their two main goals: to lead the transformation towards electrification and to expand CUPRA. That’s why they wanted to bid farewell to the year by taking on another challenge, this time the viral “pass the phone” video initiative. Through it, we got insights into how each area created the necessary momentum to go further every day, and how they will continue to do so in 2023.
The essential impulse. People are the driving force at SEAT S.A.. The company is facing the biggest transformation in its history, as electrification leads to a new set of roles and professional profiles, as well as a change in corporate culture, but “we already have the best talent inside the company, and this is why now, more than ever, we’re committed to taking training to the next level with a constant view to the future” assures Laura Carnicero, Executive Vice-President for People and Organisation.
Driving the future. To get behind the wheel of the future, you have to be living in it already. This is what the R&D team has done, focusing on the six electrified models it will develop by 2025, including the new heroes for the new era: the CUPRA Terramar, the CUPRA Tavascan and, of course, the CUPRA UrbanRebel. “Developed for a more rebellious electric world, this urban model is going to help transform CUPRA into an all-electric brand” says Dr. Werner Tietz, Vice-President for R&D.
Spain on electric wheels. Just over a month ago, the company took a new strategic step by agreeing with the Volkswagen Group, PowerCo and the companies of the Future: Fast Forward project to approve the PERTE VEC (strategic project for economic recovery and transformation with electric, connected vehicles), with a joint investment of 10 billion euros. What’s the goal? To turn the country into a European hub for electromobility. “Now’s the time to make it a reality, by localising the entire battery value chain and electrifying the Pamplona and Martorell plants” says Alfonso Sancha, Executive Vice-President for Purchasing.
In line with electrification. Martorell’s electrification depends on its production lines, where this year the entire workforce has made a great effort, working more than ever as a team to overcome setbacks like the semiconductor shortage. Executive Vice-President for Production and Logistics Markus Haupt says that “the next big step now is to transform the lines of the SEAT and CUPRA hybrid models so that we can manufacture our future 100% electric models on them”.
To the other side of the world. Last July, CUPRA arrived in Australia, a major step in the brand’s global expansion, and the CUPRA Born will soon follow. In fact, production for the Born in Australia has already begun and “it will go on sale there in a matter of weeks, taking our growth even further” says Kai Vogler, Executive Vice-President for Sales and Marketing. “In addition, with the expansion of our CUPRA City Garages we’re continuing to create unique experiences around the world” he adds. With the latest openings in Lisbon, Rotterdam and Sydney, there are now seven CUPRA City Garages in major cities around the globe. Next year will see inaugurations in Berlin, Madrid and Paris.
The strength to go even further. With the determination of every individual in the SEAT S.A. team, the company has been able to rise to the many challenges of 2022, and to keep moving forward to go even further. “Electrifying a country is a very ambitious goal, and in order to achieve it, we need a strong, solid, sustainable company” says David Powels, Executive Vice-President for Finance and IT.
Rebels with a cause. “Our cause is electrification, creating a European electromobility hub in Spain, and at the same time the growth of CUPRA, a brand that in just four years has achieved great success” says SEAT and CUPRA CEO Wayne Griffiths. “With a historic level of investment, the Future: Fast Forward project will democratise access to sustainable mobility in Europe with electric cars made in Spain and will drive industrial transformation, creating thousands of jobs and helping the country to stay competitive” he assures. As for CUPRA, as it had set out to do, it has sold 150,000 cars, doubling the previous year’s figure. “The future goal is to make the brand one of the 100 most valuable in the world” he adds. “All of this is only possible thanks to the mindset, passion and determination that everyone in the SEAT S.A. team demonstrates on a daily basis” he concludes.