VW’s Seat brand misses out on city electric car

One Seat model whose fate hangs in the balance is the small Ibiza hatchback. When the Martorell plant where the Ibiza is built becomes a hub for building small EVs from 2025, it is not clear what will happen to the Ibiza.

“Obviously we want to electrify the Seat Ibiza segment with a small EV based on the VW platform. That segment will become electrified from 2025 onwards,” Griffiths said.

Combustion-engine cars will continue to be sold in parallel as long as there is demand for them,” Griffiths added.

The Ibiza is currently Seat’s third most popular model after the Leon compact hatchback and the Arona small SUV, according to JATO Dynamics.

Sales of the Ibiza in Europe were 43,230 through June, up 46 percent from the first half of 2020.

Any possible phase-out of Seat models, however slow, will put pressure on Cupra to fill the gap.

But already, Cupra is gaining ground against its sibling brand.

The Cupra Formentor compact crossover has sold 35,000 units so far this year and was the most popular model from either brand in Germany, Seat’s largest market.

“We wish we could deliver more, but supply was constrained by the chip shortage,” Griffiths said.

Fifty percent of the Formentor models sold were plug-in hybrids, he added.