Major motoring manufacturer set to be discontinued – but some models will live on under new brand. One of the world’s most famous car brands is set to be discontinued, however, some of its more popular models will now be sold under a new manufacturer.
Announced at the Munch Motor Show, The Volkswagen Group has stated that it will no longer produce Seat vehicles. Some models will be rebadged under the Cupra brand over the next few years.
Volkswagen’s chairman Thomas Schafer said: “The future of Seat is Cupra”. In his speech, he confirmed the Volkswagen Group would increase investment into the brand after the current Seat models have been phased out from the business.
The RAC is reporting that although Seat models, such as the Ibiza supermini, will be coming to end, the Leon hatchback, will be rebranded as a Cupra vehicle.
According to some news reports, although the Seat name may come to an end as a vehicle manufacturer, it could be rebranded for e-scooters.
Volkswagen’s decision to end the Seat’s current role within the group was due to the Cupra brand having ‘far greater’ earning potential for the business.
Schafer also denied that the announcement was made due to a problem with the Spanish government, which was a joint founder of Seat in 1950. He said: “There are no problems with the government. I think it was the right decision in hindsight, but it’s a gamble. I’ve seen lots of new names come up and go but this was a good decision.
Cupra is bigger than Alfa Romeo and Polestar, so not just new brands but also old.”
For UK customers, nothing was announced regarding current Seat dealerships in the UK.
Seat is a Spanish automobile manufacturer with a history that dates back to the 1950s as a partially state-owned company. In 1953, Seat produced its first car, the SEAT 1400. From this point on, it rose in popularity in Europe as one of the leading brands in the industry.
During the 1970s and 1980s, Seat expanded its range of models and began to design and produce its own vehicles independently of Fiat – who had an agreement with the Spanish brand from its inception. Following this, the company became a symbol of Spain’s growing industrial capability and was instrumental in the country’s economic development.
In 1986, the Spanish government sold Seat to the German automotive giant Volkswagen Group, which acquired a majority stake in the company.
In the following decade, it became a key player within the Volkswagen Group and began producing a wide range of vehicles, including compact cars, sedans, and SUVs. Cars like the Leon and Ibiza were originally launched in this period.
In the 2010s, SEAT continued to expand its product lineup and strengthen its position in the European market with vehicles such as the Ateca and Tarraco. They also launched their own range of electric vehicles and hybrids.