Last Friday, H.M. King Felipe VI and Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, visited the SEAT S.A. Martorell headquarters to commemorate the company’s 70th anniversary. Both were accompanied by SEAT Supervisory Board Chairman and Volkswagen Group CEO Dr. Herbert Diess, and SEAT S.A. President, Wayne Griffiths, as well as by the Minister of Industry, Reyes Maroto and Stefan Piëch and Mark Porsche, members of the SEAT Board of Directors.
We commemorated our 70th anniversary at SEAT headquarters with future e-mobility plans.
During the visit, the Volkswagen Group, SEAT S.A. and the Spanish Government underlined their common vision of the sustainable transformation of the automotive industry. The Volkswagen Group and SEAT S.A. are willing to collaborate on transforming the industrial infrastructure and ecosystem for electric mobility and accelerate the economic recovery of the country. Last year, the company already announced a 5-billion-euro investment plan into e-mobility until 2025.
To accelerate the development of an e-mobility ecosystem a project was outlined, that will be led by the Volkswagen Group and SEAT S.A. This project will act as a tractor for large and medium-sized companies, with the collaboration of key organisations from different sectors, such as Iberdrola in the energy industry, Telefónica in the telecommunications field, CaixaBank in the financial area, the technology center Asti, or big suppliers from the automotive world, such as Gestamp or Antolín. This ambitious joint, forward-looking initiative has large potential to generate jobs, especially for young people.
Spain could evolve into an e-mobility centre of Europe
With the second largest automotive production industry in Europe, Spain owns a large responsibility in reaching the targets of the European Green Deal by 2030. Therefore, it would be crucial that Spain accelerate the creation of the electric vehicle ecosystem, stimulate demand and develop public recharging infrastructure. Thus, a future common vision includes local production of small electric vehicles in the Martorell factory, as well as the local production of battery cells and battery modules.
“Spain can evolve into an e-mobility centre of Europe. We share the Spanish Government’s vision: the transformation of the automotive industry. The modernization of industrial structures and the creation of future-proof jobs can serve as a powerful blueprint for the whole region. We hope that the EU Commission has the political willingness to let this flagship project with historic importance for Spain become reality” said Herbert Diess, CEO of the Volkswagen Group and Chairman of the Board of Directors of SEAT S.A.
“70 years ago, we put this country on wheels. Our aim, now, is to put Spain on electric wheels. For this to be a reality, all parties agreed, that Spain need to develop and ensure a wider recharging infrastructure throughout the territory and stimulate demand by incentives. Spain should jump on the electrification train” added Wayne Griffiths, President of SEAT S.A.
A look into the future of SEAT S.A
During the visit, H.M. the King and the Prime Minister visited the SEAT Design Centre, a unique hub in southern Europe where the company designs the new SEAT and CUPRA models. SEAT S.A. Vice-president for R&D, Dr. Werner Tietz, showed the authorities the new models which both brands will be launching in the coming years. H. M. King Felipe VI and Mr. Pedro Sánchez also learned about the investment plan which the company will develop until the year 2025.
Afterwards, they continued to the heart of the Martorell industrial cluster, where they visited production line 2. There they saw how the company has begun the transformation towards electrification, with the production of the first plug-in hybrids in the history of the company, the SEAT Leon, the CUPRA Leon and in recent weeks the CUPRA Formentor e-HYBRID.
The authorities then headed to the CUPRA Garage, the brand’s offices, which opened in February 2020. There, they got to know some of the electrified vehicles marketed by the company and the plug-in hybrid electric models of the Leon family, the SEAT Tarraco and the CUPRA Formentor, as well as the SEAT MÓ eScooter 125, the first electric motorcycle in the company’s history.