Coinciding with the third anniversary of the birth of the Cupra brand under the SEAT business umbrella , the president of both companies, Wayne Griffiths , has recognized the good pace of negotiations with the Government to produce an electric vehicle in Spain .
The model will be based on the new small BEV platform that the Volkswagen Group will develop at Seat. To do this, Herbert Diess himself (president of the German automobile consortium to which Cupra and Seat belong) has already traveled to Spain several times in recent months to meet with the Government andtying up the ropes of this industrial collaboration, something that is at a very advanced stage.
The chairman of Seat considers that the commitment to the electric model must be clear, and for this he demands from the Government aid to promote the purchase of electric cars and reinforce the development of a good charging infrastructure . ”
Spain cannot miss the electrification train and for this the Government has to bet on it”, states Wayne Griffiths . For the manager, our country must play an important role in this area. That is why the Spanish company will invest 5,000 million euros in the next five years to achieve the production of an electric vehicle, something that it will confirm “in the coming weeks.”
Seat could develop this new electric platform that would also be used for other models of the German group . Recall that currently three B-segment cars are being produced at the Seat plants in Martorell (Seat Ibiza and Audi A1) and Volkswagen in Navarra (the Volkswagen Polo).
The idea is to start production in 2025 . On that date, according to Griffiths , with the consolidation of the electrification process of the Cupra product range , the cars will no longer wear the brand’s name on their rear to carry those of each model.
A battery factory
The construction of a battery factory to undertake this production is key. “It is unthinkable that there is not a battery plant in Spain. It is important to have an assembly center close to the production chain , but it is also important to have a cell factory in the country for these batteries”, explains the president of Seat .
“This factory should serve the entire industry, not only for the Seat consortium, not exclusively , but it should serve for all car manufacturers,” he acknowledges. For this, the agreement with the Government is essential.
This battery factory has some candidates, “we know from some communities that are interested,” acknowledges Griffiths . One of them is obviously Catalunya. The departure of Nissan from the Barcelona Free Zone has spilled all series of rumors about the possibility that this plant would be located there, something that is not ruled out.
However, the assembly of Seat batteries would be carried out at the brand’s component plant in El Prat (very close to the Free Trade Zone).
Precisely this Monday the commission for the reindustrialization of Nissan plants met , with an important advance. The consulting firm Metyis has formalized its resignation to the appeal it filed in the Central Contracting Court, as EL PERIÓDICO has already advanced .
“It is expected that the consulting firm KPMG can resume this week its task of technical assistance of the work of the Commission, once Metyis (formerly YGroup) has withdrawn the appeal filed against the ministerial tender, at the request of the social representation”, as confirmed by Nissan in a statement shared with the Administration and the unions.
The p aso behind Metyis allows coordination unclogging operations to capture potential projects to settle in Zona Franca, once Nissan finally end its operations. This date is scheduled for December 31 of this year and the intention of the company is to accept one of the offers that are arriving by the end of September.
That is where the battery manufacturer project could enter, which would fit with Seat’s claims to assemble an electric vehicle in Martorell .
For now, one of the most well positioned projects in this regard is the South Korean firm LG Chem . However, applicants to attract these investments and build a battery factory in their territories are not lacking in the Iberian Peninsula. Aragon, Valencia and a Basque-Navarrese consortium have already raised their hands and offered to host these facilities.