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SEAT’s new Cupra standalone model has the potential to introduce fashions of its personal, the agency’s bosses have admitted for the primary time.
As Auto Specific reported final yr, the plan for the Cupra division is presently for it to promote high-performance, higher-price variations of current SEAT fashions – beginning with the Ateca but additionally prone to develop to incorporate the Ibiza and Arona, in addition to the subsequent Leon.
• New Cupra Ateca revealed with 296bhp
Nonetheless, talking on the launch occasion for Cupra, SEAT’s head of gross sales and advertising and marketing, Wayne Griffiths, urged that the motorsport-influenced model may get its personal fashions when it has used up the pure growth of SEAT’s current vary.
“We have to develop our product portfolio on Cupra,” Griffiths stated. “Clearly we now have the Cupra Ateca, and we’re different fashions [Ibiza and Arona], though these aren’t confirmed simply but. There are different vehicles within the SEAT vary and others to return within the years forward. And who is aware of – it may even go as far as a car that exists purely as a Cupra car, not less than initially.”
If Cupra have been to develop past the SEAT line-up, it might be almost certainly to do it on the highest value level potential, to ease the strain on gross sales volumes and enhance the potential profitability.
That may level to what could possibly be a sister car to the forthcoming SEAT seven-seat SUV, which shall be known as Tarraco and revealed by the top of this yr. A sketch revealed on the Cupra launch occasion (above) suggests it will take the shape a big coupe SUV, judging by the cabin profile.
SEAT CEO Luca de Meo was extra guarded on the potential of a standalone Cupra, though he refused to rule it out. “What we can do are initiatives utilizing the platform of SEAT however initiatives that may not be possible as a SEAT,” he stated. When requested if that would prolong to be a standalone Cupra car he stated, “You’ve gotten to have the ability to afford it. We’ve seen different producers attempt issues like this and should you’re creating a complete new car, it has an impact in your P&L [profit and loss]. We now have to be sensible about this.”
• New Cupra Ibiza prone to arrive in 2019
Griffiths confirmed that SEAT desires to quickly develop Cupra’s annual gross sales from the 2017 determine of 10,000 autos – even perhaps doubling it inside the subsequent 5 years. “We would like this model to be seen and that solely occurs once you do the numbers,” he stated. “We’ll most likely be conquest gross sales from different manufacturers making up round 80 per cent of Cupra’s volumes, too. However I need to make clear: we’re not attempting to be premium with this. We need to sit in between mainstream and premium, interesting to youthful clients who aren’t after a basic status model.”
SEAT hopes to realize this by making Cupra a ‘tribe’ – a objective which, Griffiths claims, is mirrored within the selection of brand. “There’s no actual heritage to play on right here,” he stated. “However we wish folks to really feel they belong to the Cupra tribe and we’re a number of methods of attaining that – on-line, on occasions, even by way of a ‘Cupra World’ with merchandise and jackets, that kind of factor.”
Griffiths stated that Cupra was open to utilizing any SEAT mannequin, though he urged that the Mii metropolis car can be a step too far – regardless of VW not too long ago launching a GTI model of the car’s sister mannequin, the up!. “When you think about that Cupra stands for efficiency as certainly one of its pillars, I believe that may be a wrestle,” he stated. “If we have been to take a look at a mini car like that then I’d want us to do one thing by way of electrification.”
Prospects will be capable to purchase Cupra fashions from any SEAT dealership, though the model says solely round a fifth of those will characteristic a full retail presence, full with take a look at vehicles and so-called ‘Cupra Masters’ gross sales employees.
Seven Cupra fashions are set to be launched over the following three years, with all vehicles receiving a four-year guarantee – 12 months longer than the usual three-year assure provided on SEAT vehicles.
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