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[NEWS] Cupra and Seat to wind down model-sharing strategy

Cupra and Seat to wind down model-sharing strategy

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Further model diversification will come as the Spanish brands look to distinguish themselves from each other

The boss of Seat and Cupra in the UK has confirmed that the two firms will continue to offer brand-specific models in the future, following the success of the Cupra-only Formentor

The all-new electric Cupra Born will not be appearing as a Seat, and nor will the upcoming Tavascan large SUV. The future of the Urban Rebel, the small, ID Life-based concept, is yet to be decided. Sitting at a lower price point, it could be that the little electric car is badged as a Seat. 

UK boss Richard Harrison, when asked if a simple proposition of a brand-specific model helped buyers, said: “The simple answer to that is yes. You can see that in that the Cupra Formentor is a Cupra only. I think having the products being more specific going forward will help clear a differentiation between the brands.

“It helps to clarify what is a Cupra. Our brands are evolving and Cupra is still a young brand. It takes a while to establish ourselves in a clear way, but it’s very encouraging early signs for Cupra.”

Harrison said Seat and Cupra will continue to diversify from a pricing point of view: “The decision around Born was based on the positioning of the brands. Seat’s is more at the value end of the market and Cupra’s is in between mass [market] and premium. For the cost of producing the Born with the electric technology and so on, it makes sense to redesign a car that sits more naturally at its price position and more in line with its production costs.” 

It comes at a time of improving market share in the UK for both brands, with Seat running at its highest market share yet of 2.9% for the year to date and as Cupra prepares to launch the Born with both an agency and subscription sales model.

Harrison said: “It’s early doors for the agency model but it’s clearly part of our strategy. We’re in discussion with our retailers at the moment about how we bring that to life in practice.”

Seat, meanwhile, is continuing to expand into micro-mobility as a further point of differentiation from the Cupra name, offering an e-scooter moped in the UK. It is also looking into the possibility of a UK launch for the e-kicks scooter but that will largely depend on whether legislation will allow for electric scooters. Currently, the government is trailing these in various cities.

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