Will the dazzling success of Cupra suffocate its big sister Seat?

Will the dazzling success of Cupra suffocate its big sister Seat?

For a long time, Cupra was just a name affixed to some of the most powerful and sporty Seats in the range. But for four years, according to the will of Luca de Meo (current CEO of Renault), then at the head of the Spanish manufacturer, it is a brand in its own right. That looked like a bet. Bringing an almost unknown name to the fore, building customer loyalty and developing a range is a long and costly undertaking. DS, which is struggling to impose itself outside of France, is proof of this. Making Cupra a new brand, in a Volkswagen Group which already does not lack labels (ten car brands, including Cupra), initially seemed like a whim as vain as it was superfluous.

However, four years later, the success exceeds all expectations. “We doubled our sales in 2021, and this should still be the case in 2022”, assures Robert Breschkow, director of Seat and Cupra France. The performance is all the more spectacular as the volumes are quite substantial. “We already sell more cars than some historic manufacturers, such as Alfa Romeo.” Within the range, a model bursts the screen, it is the compact SUV Formentor. In 2021, 54,600 copies were sold worldwide. Since the beginning of the year, this model has even been the best-selling of the two ranges in France: according to CCFA figures, it ranks sixty-first in the ranking, with 2,963 units registered over the first six months. . The Seat Ibiza, the usual best-seller from the Spanish manufacturer, only points to the seventy-first position, with 2,467 registrations.

Cupra sales set to overtake Seat?

Could Cupra be supplanting Seat in terms of sales? “We are in a very particular context”, nuances Robert Breschkow. “Semiconductor shortages do not allow us to deliver all the cars we would like. The policy within the Seat Group (Seat + Cupra, editor’s note) is the same as that applied within the entire “Volkswagen Group. We give priority to higher-margin models. Cupra is therefore necessarily favored, due to the higher average price of its cars.”

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